Chakib Youcefi, a 27-year old from Sweden, graduated from Antioch University with a degree in Business, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship in 2017. He recently landed a job at Snap Inc, and has big future plans for his own company, Uppertunity Inc.
Before coming to Santa Barbara in 2014, Chakib lived in Norway for four years and worked as a sales manager and CEO for an app development company.
After graduating from AUSB, Chakib was offered a job at the social media and technology company Snap Inc, which is based in Venice, California. He works in the Content Section, and is there largely because of his fluency in the Swedish and Norwegian languages. Chakib oversees the content that is published by social media influencers from Sweden and Norway and makes sure that the content does not break any rules.
Chakib and I meet at The French Press across the street from his previous university before his night shift for Snap Inc., which he does from home. The day is beautiful and the café is filled with customers as usual.
I recently interviewed Chakib about his company.
AY: So what is Uppertunity Inc?
CY: It’s a gamified career building app platform that leverages skills and personality testing to compensate for candidates lack of experience. This gives a chance for young people to assess themselves to further their chances of getting hired for whatever dream job they have.
AY: How did you come up with the idea to create this company?
CY: The reason for why I got the idea of my company and realized the problem with the recruitment system today was because of my time at Antioch, I did both internships and worked on a big Capstone project where I did very thorough research on the problem with recruitment systems. What I found was that the system today is so broken, and I knew I had to do something about it.
AY: Why do you think the recruitment system is so broken today?
CY: The way I experience it is that today a masters degree is what a bachelors degree was 10 years ago. This means that many people having to study more, pay more to get a chance, and spend more years doing this before they can start working for a company, which results in that they lose a lot of money. On top of this, it is expected for these people to not demand for the important positions at a company, but to work their way up, maybe take an internship first and then take an entry level position. Things should take time they say, but this time is running out of our hands. I got the chance while studying at Antioch to develop my thoughts and the idea of this. My future, vision, and whole mission in life is to take back the rights for our generation that was lost somewhere.
AY: What is your plan with Uppertunity Inc?
CY: I’m very passionate about this and my plan is to develop the company further. This company is really the most interesting project right now and I work hard for it. The company is working with interesting people and has new partnerships, which is very exciting.
CY: Technology and especially software is a passion of mine, and I want to be a part of that development. My goal is to be a part of developing our technology so it actually benefits us and not just developing technology that benefits a few.
AY: How did your experience as an AUSB student help you in getting a job?
CY: My time at Antioch provided me with a university degree which has been a prerequisite to apply for many of the positions that I found interesting. I also feel that I gained confidence in being able to take on complex problems and solving them, which benefited me a lot in my pursuit for a job.
AY: What does the future look like?
CY: The future is about making the company work because if it actually does work, that means we are going to be able to fix the broken recruitment system and make sure that young people actually get the same opportunities that their parents once got when they were young.
Chakib is looking forward to the future, whether it is here in the States, in Sweden, or anywhere in the world, and he is excited to put his company out there. The important part isn’t where this will happen, the important part is that he will make it happen.
* Since this interview, Chakib has left Snap Inc. and started working for Moji IT, which is a new tech startup that have created a new messaging app allowing us to send life-size animated avatars to our friends and communicate through them.