Dr. Sheila Bosron (center) with Jim McGuinness, Scecina's director of Development and Alumni Relations (left) and Business Management teacher Pam Brake.
By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications
Sheila (Barton) Bosron ’60 had a “eureka!” moment in the 1970s while living and teaching in Japan. She noticed that there were many women dentists in Japan, and she was an American unfamiliar with women in that role.
Dr. Bosron spoke on April 19 to Scecina’s Business Management class taught by Pam Brake. She shared her experiences of changing careers from teacher to dentist with her own practice.
When Dr. Bosron was attending Scecina during the late 1950s, her father made sure she took typing and bookkeeping so she could get a job. Women, she said, could have one of three careers: secretary, nurse or teacher. While those were wonderful careers, in Japan her eyes were opened to more possibilities for women.
“I had an ‘I can do it’ moment,” she remembers. That led to “a very satisfying career” as a dentist with her own office. She returned to Indiana and graduated from Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1984.
Besides speaking of her career switch, she also shared practical business advice with the students. Even when you hire an office manager for your own practice, she said, you need to keep vigilant oversight. One time, her business checks ended up in the wrong hands, thanks to an unscrupulous employee. One of the checks was used at a liquor store, where an astute employee called Dr. Bosron because she was suspicious of the check.
Dr. Bosron enjoyed most aspects of running her own business for 25 years, she said. She could make her own decisions, train her own employees and incorporate her own values. “That’s the joy of a business,” she said.
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She had picked up some business acumen from her father, who ran a lumber business on the Eastside of Indianapolis and expanded into hardware. She understood the value of diversifying your business. She also told the students to look for opportunities to expand in economic downturns and to work hard during the good times to weather the inevitable storms.
She also developed incentives for her employees to develop their talents. “I enjoyed giving people the chance to learn,” she said. Dr. Bosron served on the Indiana State Dental Licensing Board for three years, and the Indiana State Controlled Substance Review Panel for Health Professionals while on the Dental Licensing Board. She also served as president of the International Association for Orthodontics and was awarded a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Bosron is married to William Bosron, professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry at IU School of Medicine.
Dr. Bosron was the third speaker in a series of Scecina alumni who are sharing their business and entrepreneurial stories with current students. The students also have heard from Joe Caito ’63, who started his Caito Foods with his brother, and Kate (Jeffers) Schreiber ‘90, who bought a Bricks 4 Kidz franchise with her husband, Ben, also a Scecina graduate. Future speakers include Bob and Laura Stark, past Scecina parents and co-owners of Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, and Rick Smith ’69, a retired businessman who now owns and operates West Chase Golf Club.