Career Advice

The Power of a Portfolio Company: Real Talk from Fernie Torres, Director at Intermix

With five brands in the Gap Inc. family, the opportunities are endless, just ask Fernie Torres.

Fernie is responsible for security at Intermix stores and headquarters. He started his Gap Inc. journey as a loss prevention agent for Banana Republic in San Francisco, became a district loss prevention manager, then moved over to Athleta as a regional loss prevention manager on the East Coast in that brand’s earliest days. This set him up perfectly to transition to Intermix and support the newest brand in the Gap Inc. family.

His advice? Take every chance you get to learn about the distinctly different brands that make up our company.

Make the leap.
Many people thought I was crazy when I took a leap of faith to join Athleta — which at the time was a new brand with 17 stores — from Banana Republic, where I had a large number of direct reports in the highest-volume market. I made the move because not only did I see the growth potential of Athleta, but also because I knew I would be learning something completely new. Same thing when I moved to Intermix.

I love that I get to work with such different businesses under one company umbrella. It’s definitely given me more confidence.

Don’t just move between brands — move between the field and HQ.
I love working in the field — that’s where all the action is and where you truly get the full picture of what is going on in our business. Moving into HQ wasn’t seamless at first, but once I got into my rhythm it’s been a blast. I love being able to collaborate with extremely talented people and know that I’m doing something that will impact the entire business.

Get excited about what’s still out there to learn.
Gap Inc. is amazing at developing and educating their people, and the company continues to evolve. In the last three years, I’ve learned more than I did in the previous 12. Five years ago I had no idea what Intermix was, and now here I am having an amazing ride. What’s going to happen in the next five years? It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.

Moving equals growing.
Each Gap Inc. brand I’ve worked in has been vastly different: The customer is different, the structure is different, workload and complexity are very different. Each brand and role I’ve taken on has been increasingly challenging in different ways, which is what you want when you grow in your career. What stays the same is the passion and love for what you do every day. Even though each brand is its own unique business, there’s always that feeling that we’re all working to contribute to the Gap Inc. family.