Simon Mourani made the most of his time at Wayne State University by engaging with as many people and opportunities as possible — a skill that’s serving him well in his role as associate program manager of public affairs at DTE. In his role, which he started in July 2022, Mourani coordinates and leads community outreach events to enhance the brand, raise awareness of services and programs, and deliver a positive experience to customers on behalf of DTE.
“I love my job — I’m out serving the community while making connections with people. Every day is different, and I’m staying involved,” he said.
Before launching his career, he earned a bachelor’s in marketing with a minor in computer science in 2020, from the Mike Ilitch School of Business and the College of Engineering, respectively. Through the university’s Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program, Mourani was able to apply foundational classes from his undergraduate studies at the master’s level, and he went on to earn an M.B.A. with a dual concentration in information systems management and global supply chain management from the Ilitch School just one year later, in 2021.
Immediately following graduation, he participated in a rotational program at United Wholesale Mortgage as a business innovation specialist, where he was able to experience various aspects of business operations before an opening at DTE caught his eye.
“Not having a ton of corporate experience or internships didn’t hold me back, because I was so involved on campus. I used those experiences in interviews and I was never stumped by a question. I could speak easily about my strengths, working with people, and solving problems,” he said. “I fully engaged on campus — I treated my involvement at Wayne State like a job, which turned out to be a huge benefit when I started looking at a career.”
Although he spent his first three years at Wayne State as a pre-pharmacy student who then declared a major in computer science, Mourani gravitated toward the business-focused aspects of each program. He took an introductory marketing class and found his calling.
“I took that one class, and it was done — I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he said. “I decided to major in marketing and minor in computer science, thinking that combination would make me more marketable.”
Similarly, he found himself thriving in leadership and operational roles in various student organizations. He served in a public relations role for the Pre-Professional Medical Society as a pre-pharmacy student, and as the webmaster for the College of Engineering’s Student Senate.
Mourani was also the president of the Lebanese Student Association — a group he still engages with as an alumnus through a role on the board of the Lebanese College Network, a nationwide support group for Lebanese student organizations. He was involved in the Mike Ilitch Marketing Association, the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, and Circle K International, and he served as a member of the Street Squad, a group of Wayne State student ambassadors who help share the university’s mission and boost its reputation through community engagement.
“I didn’t live on campus, but it felt like I did. Getting involved was the best way to learn and to make friends,” Mourani said. “You look at a school for its academic programs, of course. But you also want a location and student body that has a good community that will enhance your experience. For me, it all added up at Wayne State. I loved my experience on campus.”
He recalls participating in Circle K’s 24 Hours of Service, Quidditch matches, and an impromptu boat tour of the Detroit River after hopping on a Campus Activities Team bus.
“You maybe don’t always know exactly what to expect, but that’s some of the fun,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, his advice to current students is to get involved on campus. He also suggests students actively seek out scholarships and plan ahead to create an academic and extracurricular schedule that works for them.
“Be open to everything — you never know what might interest you or whom you might meet,” he said. “Know what’s important to you and find the time for it.”