From Trainee Dental Nurse to Operations Director: Sharon Drury shares her career journey 

21 November 2018 . United Kingdom

Starting as a Trainee Dental Nurse in 1985, Sharon is still as ambitious as ever to make a difference and develop. Now a Regional Operations Director at Bupa Dental Care, Sharon’s held multiple positions on her journey to success; Dental Nurse, Lead Nurse, Practice Manager, Business Manager, Cluster Manager, Regional Performance Manager and Area Manager. Sharon is a great example of the career opportunities at Bupa and in dentistry.
Sharon Drury

What made you go into dentistry?

From a young age, my mum had always taken me and my brother to the dentist and I was never scared. I liked the nurse – she used to give me a little badge when I visited – I think that’s why I wanted to go into nursing - Margaret was my inspiration!

What has been your biggest achievement? 

I have been here for over 22 years and I think progressing from a Trainee Dental Nurse to being part of the leadership team is my biggest achievement. I am so passionate about the business and I want to be a role model for anyone else who wants to progress from the clinical side into the wider business function.

What’s the best thing about your current role?

I get to work with a great team and I can make a difference to their understanding of the clinical side of the business, I really enjoy getting out and about and engaging with our dentists. I like the variety of being in a different place almost every day and meeting other people who feel just as passionate as I do about our business. I love making a difference and helping others realise their potential. Chatting to our Practice Managers on my visits and sharing my knowledge – gives me a lot of satisfaction. I also love my time with the other Regional Operations Directors and working with our Operations Director on different strategies that will move our business forwards.

What is the most memorable moment from the time in your current job?

I think leaving my team when I was the Area Manager in Yorkshire – I don’t think they were expecting it and it certainly made me shed a few tears. Having been an Area Manager for over 7 years, it was a little emotional. The best thing about it though was that someone else had an opportunity to progress into that role – I’m proud that it was one of my ex Practice Managers, Lisa Taaffe.

Why have you remained at Bupa Dental Care for so long?

I have never felt that it would be right for me to move from Bupa – I get what I need and I don’t think I could get bored of being in dentistry! It’s been in my life for over 33 years so I guess Bupa is just now part of me. There is also always someone who will help you, the support I feel is really great.

What are your future ambitions?

To grow more good relationships and for the business to continue to thrive and grow, with me being a part of it. To share my knowledge further whilst learning new things.

What advice would you give to someone looking to make the move into a new role like yours?

Don’t hesitate, you just know when it’s right and always trust your gut instincts. Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – you can make a difference.