Photo: Ray Fernando Jr.
One complaint—among many—that Apple’s retail workers have is that the job is basically a dead end: Besides advancing in the retail ranks, there’s little hope of landing a job at Apple headquarters helping build the products you sell.We just found one dramatic exception. His name is Ray Fernando Jr.
His LinkedIn profile makes it pretty obvious how he did it. First, Fernando picked the right store to work in: Apple’s Palo Alto flagship. It’s not the closest to Apple’s Cupertino campus, but Steve Jobs lived in Palo Alto, and current CEO Tim Cook still does.
In that store, Fernando became the “go-to person for Apple execs, VIP customers, celebrities, and high priority customer service issues, including the Jobs family, Ron Johnson, Scott Forstall’s parents, Guy Kawasaki, and more.”
Ron Johnson is Apple’s former retail chief, and Guy Kawasaki is a high-profile author and investor who worked at Apple in the early days. Scott Forstall, of course, is the executive whom Cook just dramatically ousted.
There’s one other connection Fernando cultivated: He worked for two years at Big Fun Disc Jockeys, a Bay Area company which provides DJs for wedding and other events. Henry Kim, an Apple developer, owns the firm, and an Apple sales trainer, Paul Burchfield, also works as a DJ there.
While at the Apple Store, Fernando also coded inventory and communication systems to make operations more efficient, so he’s clearly got technical chops.
In April, he started working at Apple HQ as an iOS sync quality-assurance engineer.
We’re reminded of the story of how David Brookings went from giving Elvis tours in Memphis to working on iTunes.
We dropped Fernando a note via LinkedIn to hear more about his career path and we’ll update you if we hear back.
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