Pushing the limit
Students who have been taught by Jamie Belinne, assistant dean for Career Services at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, have no doubt noticed her strong determination and ambition.
Not exactly what one would call athletic as a child, Belinne described how she was always picked last for team sports — if she was picked at all. However, when a friend jokingly signed her up for a triathlon, she decided to participate and finish the event just to prove that she could. Upon getting through the entire course, she had an epiphany.
“I realized I was wrong about myself, and everybody else was wrong about me, because I shouldn’t have been able to do that,” Belinne said. “It wasn’t this overwhelming thing — a lot of people were doing it — but the fact that I did it was amazing. I really stopped to think, ‘Why do I limit myself? Why do we limit ourselves?’ People tell us we can’t, and we take their word for it. I decided from that point forward, I’m going to decide if I can or can’t do something. I’m not going to take anyone else’s word for it. If I don’t want to do something, that’s fine, but I’m not going to do it because someone said I can’t.”
Belinne tries to instill this attitude into each student who enters her classroom, especially female students, who make up nearly 40 percent of the Bauer population, according to U.S. News & World Report. Through her work in helping businesses to manage employees and her own experiences, Belinne said that while women can now sit at the same meeting table as men, they often hold themselves back. The next step is to teach women to be more assertive.
“Now we take ourselves out of the mix,” Belinne said. “We feel like to be a good person, we should promote others, we should support others, we should stay in the background — and we shoot ourselves in the foot when we do that. I think the next big challenge is teaching women to stand up and take credit and ask for more.”
Business senior Celia Fraser said Belinne’s message resonates among all of her students.
“I remember her saying that it took her a few attempts to get to where she was, and she was really pleased that she did it,” Fraser said, “and I could relate to that, because you don’t always get to where you need to from the first try.”
“I think, often women more than men, but people in general, we set our own limits,” Belinne said. “The biggest limits we have are the ones that happen in our own heads. We need to challenge ourselves more and push ourselves more, and it’s perfectly OK to say ‘I don’t want to do something,’ but to give up? That’s not OK, and we’ve got to break that habit.”