After more than a decade of service at the University of Central Florida, Heissam Jebailey recently announced a career change. The former owner and current university director of the Central Florida Future will transition into new endeavors.
On Wed., April 21 Jebailey will present his first book at the UCF Bookstore entitled, “30 Quick Tips for Success In and Out of College,” which is a self-help guide catered to students.
“As a former UCF student, employee and employer, I have gained invaluable experience. I feel indebted to the university and therefore want to give back to those most in need – the students,” stated Jebailey.
The 2000 NSC alumnus who majored in advertising/public relations started his career just days after graduation. Jebailey’s longtime mentor and NSC instructor, Frank Stansberry was instrumental in making his first connection, which eventually led to a change in ownership of the publication. With the help of his business partner Brian Linden, Jebailey took a weekly black and white tabloid with less than 10,000 in distribution and transformed it to a full-color broadsheet with a total distribution of 45,000, published three times per week. Over the past 10 years The Future has been recognized with more than 48 awards including “Best Student Newspaper in the Country.” In 2007, Linden and Jebailey sold the publication to Gannett Company, Inc., a media conglomerate, which opened the door to new opportunities and resources for the publication.
With all its success, Jebailey and Linden never lost sight of their need to give back to UCF. The Future has donated nearly $50,000 to support scholarships and student-centric programs. Both the advertising/public relations and journalism programs have benefited from annual contributions. The donations helped cover students’ tuition, foster professional development and help students break into the field. “I truly enjoy helping college students succeed. I have hired, trained and mentored hundreds of students and understand their perspective. I realize they have certain fears and concerns as they enter the real-world, and I hope my book helps them achieve success.”
Students and colleagues alike have an opportunity to see the author in person. On Wed., April 21, from noon to 5 p.m. Jebailey will be at the UCF Bookstore located on UCF’s main campus in the John T. Washington Center. On Thurs., April 22 from 2 to 7 p.m., he will be available inside Gray’s Bookstore located in the Publix shopping plaza on Alafaya Trail and McCullough Road.