Class of Spring 2024: COB graduate George Alami

April 17, 2024

The finance major says his time at UM-Dearborn helped him land his first full-time accountant position — an offer that came before graduation — and, for the future, he’s got his sights set on Wall Street.

COB Class of Spring 2024 grad George Alami
Graphic by Violet Dashi

George Alami went to New York City with family years ago. While there, he thought about how he’d really like to work on Wall Street — but wasn’t sure how to make it happen.

After enrolling at UM-Dearborn, it became a bit more clear. Alami gained experience through several internships, volunteering and joining student organizations like the Finance Management Association. With that group, the finance major returned to New York City.

On a trip led by Finance Lecturer Nick Vlisides, Alami met with professionals at Moody’s, S&P 500 and Goldman Sachs. He found UM-Dearborn alums working on Wall Street and had coffee with them to learn about their career journeys. And, from insiders, he got a better picture of the fast-paced industry.

“My time at UM-Dearborn made my connection to New York City stronger. I now have contacts, a road map on how to gain more experience before going out there, and a confidence that I know what I need to do to make it happen,” says Alami, who accepted a full-time job offer as a public accountant at Wipfli in Southfield, an accounting company that he’s worked at as a tax intern and will help him earn his CPA and graduate degree. “I learned that firms in New York want more than entry-level. So I’m looking forward to starting my career at Wipfli, learning the ropes from really talented people and continuing to make my dreams come true.”

Alami says he is proud to be a Dearborn Wolverine — but it almost didn’t happen. 

Originally, Alami, who is from Dearborn, planned to go out of state for school. But then his mom passed away and COVID hit. “I was 17 and it was a very painful and confusing time. I decided to stay close to home, try to heal and have my village around me. I’m glad I did,” he says. “I originally planned to transfer. But the more involved I got at UM-Dearborn, the more I knew it was the right place for me. I belonged here. It helped me during the most difficult time in my life. I love it here.”

Alami joined Beta Alpha Psi, FMA and the Real Estate Association. He enjoyed his entrepreneurship courses — especially those taught by Business Administration Lecturer Tim Davis. And he volunteered to help people in need through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which helps low-income individuals and families with tax preparation.

“When I was younger, I volunteered with my mom and dad in soup kitchens. That’s still good to do, but it is nice to be able to help people with a specific skill I have,” says Alami about his time in the VITA program. “I’ve helped 30 to 40 families. Seeing their faces light up when they get a better return than they thought so they can fix their car or repair the house doesn’t get old. It’s uplifting and makes me feel like I’m doing something important.”

He says the lessons he learned helped him get a more clear picture of what was next for him. His advice to current students? “Don’t be afraid to fail. Ask questions. Take risks. Raise your hand,” he says.

“I’ve had a great experience here and am reaching my goals — but I’m not special. My only unique trait is that I’m willing to try something new. I’m willing to put myself out there. That has opened so many doors for me,” Alami continues. “So take risks now while on campus. This time is an investment. You're going to have the rest of your life to compound on what you're doing today.”  

He says he learned a lot of great lessons at UM-Dearborn — like how to research choosing the right stocks or how to start a company. But the most important was to invest in himself.

“I got a high quality education and was able to be with my family when we were healing together. I am forever grateful to UM-Dearborn,” Alami says. “Now I can go on to the next stage in my life. I have a great job waiting for me. And New York will be next — I know I’ll get there thanks to the people I’ve met and lessons I’ve learned here. Go Blue. Go Dearborn.”

Article by Sarah Tuxbury.