Yorkville Teams up with Kibbi to Help International Students Find Jobs

BBA On Campus

March 27, 2023

Yorkville University is helping to lower barriers to work for its international students by teaming up with an innovative new mobile app designed to help make the job market more inclusive and accessible for newcomers to Canada.

Hong Phuc Nguyen, Kibbi’s founder and ‘Chief Cheerleader’

Launched in June 2022 by Hong Phuc Nguyen, the Kibbi app and its accompanying online job board were created with one mission in mind: to redefine the job search experience for entry-level job seekers, many of whom are young newcomers.

“We believe that, as long as one has the willingness to work hard, one should be able to find a job,” said Nguyen, who worked in brand marketing in Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong before immigrating to Canada in 2020. 

Once settled in Calgary, Nguyen was inspired to create Kibbi – whose name derives from the Israeli concept of ‘kibbutz’ communities – by her own struggles navigating through the labyrinth of barriers to finding work. 

“I came here at one of the worst times to migrate anywhere, because it was so hard to find jobs,” she explained. 

“In 2021, I witnessed a paradox: there was a big labour shortage where a lot of employers couldn’t find employees, but in my community, the immigrant community, we still struggled to find jobs. It would take at least six months to find jobs in Canada – that’s the fastest I’ve seen.” 

Hoping to be part of the solution, Nguyen banded together with a team of fellow immigrants to develop Kibbi, which exclusively lists entry-level and hourly jobs that require less than two years of experience, such as retail, hospitality, construction and food processing jobs. 

In developing Kibbi, which has since been validated by more than 35 non-profit organizations, Nguyen and her team also successfully developed a number of additional key functionalities that she said help set to set it apart from other job-finding apps:

  • Kibbi is multi-lingual, making it easy for people of all levels of English proficiency to find jobs. The app allows job seekers to translate job descriptions into more than 60 different languages, and indicates which jobs requires fluent English and which require basic English, so they can find jobs according to their skill levels.
  • Kibbi is location focused, allowing users to sign up for notifications to more easily seek out new job opportunities near their homes, daycares, schools or neighbourhoods.
  • Kibbi helps jobseekers be job-ready instantly, allowing them to upload their resumes and then convert them into scannable QR codes to apply anywhere on the go. 

“We want to be the go-to app for hourly and entry level jobs, so that we help international students start their career right within their communities,” she said. 

“Newcomers – especially international students and refugees – are very underserved. This is why we love to bring them job opportunities and make them more accessible.” 

So far, Nguyen said, the response to Kibbi’s launch among newcomer communities across the country has been “amazing.” 

“We went live in June last year. Within the first month, we had 200 downloads; and within six months, we had reached more than 10,000 downloads and more than 12,000 applications sent through our app,” she said. 

“I think that shows there is a huge need from the community.”

Learn more about the Kibbi app HERE.