People in business often use sports metaphors to talk about performance. You can “run” a business, “cycle” through a downturn or “swim” against the current.
Jamie Belinne, assistant dean and executive director of the Rockwell Career Center in the C. T. Bauer College of Business, does all three in her down time, if you apply the literal translations. Belinne, who has finished several triathlons, is currently featured on the Toyota Engines of Change website, http://www.toyotaenginesofchange.com/.
The auto manufacturer likes to align its forward-thinking hybrid car technology as an agent of change, and it honors a select number of athletes like Belinne for being catalysts for change in their own communities.
Belinne may look the part of an athlete now, but it wasn’t always that way, she says. When a friend convinced her to try training for her first triathlon in 1999, she was a single mother trying to balance the needs of her family with a demanding career.
“I didn’t train nearly enough,” she says, noting that she side-stroked and back-stroked through the swimming portion of the race, and rode “an ancient, heavy mountain bike,” during the cycling portion. Belinne nevertheless got through the event, and now trains much of the year. She has even used some of her vacation days to train for events.
“I really got hooked,” she says. “At work I take care of students and employers; at home I take care of my family. When I go out for a six-mile run, I’m taking care of nobody but me.”
The energy and rejuvenation that comes from setting and achieving personal goals as she trains for triathlons helps Belinne contribute her best on the job and at home, she says. Her husband and children are boosters. Belinne’s 10-year-old son just completed his first race. And at Belinne’s last triathlon, her husband and 5-year-old daughter spent the day helping to distribute water. Her daughter also welcomed her with a sign. It said, “Mama, you rock!”
By Julie Bonnin
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Bauer College of Business
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.