James Kelly obtained his BA degree in Economics from Yale University and was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Officer. He was stationed in San Diego and served on a destroyer (John W. Thomason DD 760) which cruised the western Pacific and visited ports in Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He later was stationed in London, England and Washington, D.C.
After the Navy, Jim moved with his young family to San Diego, studied computer programming and obtained an AA degree in Data Processing. He began a career in business, first in computer software and later in high-tech marketing and management.
After three years at a software service bureau, Jim joined Xerox Computer Services, a start-up Xerox business dedicated to bringing software and business consulting services to small businesses in the U.S. and Europe. His assignments at XCS included four years in Europe where he opened business sales offices in Europe and England. Looking back, this was a remarkable experience for the Kelly family and Jim recommends without hesitation that MSMC students take advantage of opportunities to study or work abroad.
Eventually, Jim left the XCS division and joined Xerox Corporate where he served as industry marketing manager for manufacturing and distribution industries.
He retired in 1998 and later learned of a teaching opportunity at Mount St. Mary’s College through a Xerox friend. Jim joined the business faculty as an Adjunct Instructor in 2000 and has taught Microeconomics and Macroeconomics in the Doheny and Weekend College Programs. He has also taught a Personal Finance course developed specifically for Doheny students.
Jim lives in Manhattan Beach with Sue, his wife of 40 years, and high school daughter Katie. He has two older daughters who are married and raising young sons. One of Jim’s daughters, Kirstie, is a business entrepreneur who designs and sells wedding dresses and evening wear out of her Brentwood studio. Kirstie is an annual visitor to the Mount to meet with the Doheny Microeconomics class and speak about her business experience and challenges.
At this stage in life Jim finds his Mount St. Mary’s College experience very fulfilling. He knows he is fortunate to have this chance to help young women in college prepare for their careers in business and their lives as citizens and community members. He gives this advice to students at the beginning of each semester: Come to each class, prepare before each class, and be an active participant while in class. Talk to your fellow students about what you are learning. Find connections to what we are learning in your daily lives. Do your best work and you’ll always be prepared for opportunities that surely will come your way!
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