Port People- Laura Morgan
Port People: a look at the wide variety of careers available at Belfast Harbour. This month we speak to Assistant Property Executive Laura Morgan.
Name: Laura Morgan
Position: Assistant Property Executive
1. What does your average working day entail?
My job is split into two categories – First there’s the daily office tasks such as emailing solicitors, checking planning application progression, seeking approval for new sub-leases / lease renewals etc. Then there are the idiosyncratic tasks that crop up which makes the Harbour such an interesting place to work, such as being involved in meetings on the Tall Ships event; corresponding with film producers who are seeking permission to use land within the Estate for filming purposes; facilitating an archaeological dig so that a Professor could conduct research on living conditions of Dockland communities in the 1800s. The Harbour is a pretty quirky place at times.
2. What qualifications are required for your job?
I did an integrated Masters in Planning & Property Development at Ulster University. But my predecessors came from a Property Investment background. A firm understanding of property development and financial appraisal techniques is an important requirement.
3. What other skills do you need in your role?
I think a well-rounded understanding of Northern Ireland planning legislation, property markets and the ability to conduct development appraisals are of high importance to the role and an overall understanding of the built environment is helpful in terms of how people use space and how the requirements of those users are changing.
4. What’s the most common question people ask when they find out what you do?
Mostly I get asked “Do you work in that fancy building by the docks?”
5. What advice would you give to those considering a career in your profession?
I would encourage more females to get into the property industry in particular as the property industry itself is still a very male-dominated industry. I think a lot of women still think of builders and tradesmen when they think of property and construction jobs but there are so many other job roles. The job I’m in now wasn’t a role I was even aware of when I was considering my degree choices.