Jim Buckley has used his educational experiences at St. Mary’s High School and Bentley University to launch a career in the financial services industry.
Buckley was recently honored for his outstanding performance in his field at an event hosted by New York Life, where he began working in May as a financial advisor for families in insurance, retirement planning, and college funding, and for small business owners in business succession and retirement planning.
After receiving his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Bentley, Buckley began working at Public Consulting Group (PCG), a firm led by president and CEO William S. Mosakowski, a member of the board of trustees at St. Mary’s.
“My connection to St. Mary’s helped me land my first job and Mr. Mosakowski was great to me,” said Buckley, the handsome and personable 24-year-old son of St. Mary’s department head and dean Beverly Buckley and Mike Buckley. “I loved my time at PCG. It takes a certain person to be in consulting. I was doing a lot of traveling.”
Buckley left PCG after one year and accepted his current position at New York Life, working in Waltham and living in Somerville. In his first eight months, he was honored as a recipient of a high earners’ “Hundreds Club” award.
Buckley started at St. Mary’s in the seventh grade following his years at West Elementary School and one year at Higgins Middle School in Peabody.
“My mother was teaching at St. Mary’s and that’s a big reason why I went there,” said Buckley. “My mother highly recommended the school. I shadowed a student for a day and at the end of the day I knew that was where I wanted to go. I liked the friendliness, the close-knit feeling of the teachers and the classes. I liked the intimate feel of St. Mary’s.”
Buckley played football and baseball at St. Mary’s and displayed academic excellence in his six years at the school. He was ranked eighth in his class and earned membership in the National Honor Society.
“Mr. [Carl] DiMaiti was very instrumental in my outstanding experience at St. Mary’s and he provided a great recommendation to Mr. Mosakowski for my first job after college,” recalled Buckley. “He’s been a very positive influence in my life.”
Buckley also credited mathematics department chairperson Fran White for her instruction and guidance at the school.
“She was my math teacher for three years and was very willing to help me,” said Buckley. “She was there to help her students before school and after school as well. Her helping me to grasp and learn mathematics principles set the foundation for my entrance in to business school. I did well in her classes and she taught it in a way that made me enjoy numbers and finance. That’s why I decided to major in business and chose Bentley, one of the better business schools in the region.”
Buckley participated in other activities beyond the St. Mary’s athletic program. He was president of the student council and on the board of the National Honor Society.
Taking the lead from his talented parents – his mother is the owner of the Beverly Richards Dance Studio in East Boston and his father is a retired high school band director – Buckley would sing the National Anthem in his football uniform at home games and at other school events including graduation.
He continued to perform at Bentley, having sung at the inauguration of Bentley President Gloria Larson and his class’s commencement ceremony. He worked as a student supervisor for the Bentley athletic department under the direction of athletic director Bob DeFelice.
“I learned a lot from Mr. DeFelice,” said Buckley. “He gives his best every day. He’s been a part of the university for a long time and they have named the baseball field in his honor. Bentley has great athletic facilities.”
While a freshman at Bentley, he took a job with the Boston Red Sox, serving as the head of the mobility assistance department for five years.
“We took care of any fans who were physically challenged and needed assistance at the ballpark,” said Buckley. “We made sure that their experience was just as good any other fan. We helped them to and from the seats and accommodated any seat relocations if they needed easier access to amenities.”
Buckley said his experience at St. Mary’s was a good foundation to his position at Fenway.
“The teachers and administrators at St. Mary’s always stressed in my Catholic education to always give back to the community and help others that are less fortunate,” said Buckley. “And I saw the Red Sox win the World Series in 2008 after winning the first two games at Fenway. I received a World Series watch from the Red Sox.”
He graduated magna cum laude from Bentley with a degree in Economics and received his MBA degree in Operations Management, taking five years to complete the requirements for the two degrees.
“Bentley went from a college to a university when I was a student,” said Buckley, who was elected president of his college class. “We had a change in leadership to President Larson and she’s done a great job of getting Bentley on the map and getting our school recognition for its excellence.”
Buckley said he’s pleased with the transition to New York Life and the career path he has chosen.
“I like New York Life – it’s a great company,” said Buckley. “I chose them for their reputation and their training. I wanted to go somewhere I could learn and have the autonomy to grow on my own and build my own practice. I hope to pursue my own financial services practice or continue at New York Life and become a partner and train new agents like myself.”
Buckley said he often visits the Lynn area on business consultations.
“I love stopping in at St. Mary’s – it’s such a great school atmosphere and I have warm memories of my years at the school,” said Buckley. “And I have to visit my mother. If she knew I was in the area and didn’t say hi, she wouldn’t like that too much so I always go to her office first. I also like talking to people like Mr. DiMaiti, Michelle Durgin, and Fran White – people who meant so much to me at the school.”