Career Story: Business Representative Selling Products Made By Prisoners

Business Representative Selling Products Made By Prisoners

Job Title: Business Representative

Education: n/a

Previous Experience: I worked as a Service Representative/Account Manager for four different insurance companies in the group benefits area. I now work for the Department of Correction in the Industries Dept. selling the product and services the inmates provide.

Job Tasks: I work for the Department of Correction, selling and servicing products and services to customers. The inmates from the prisons make the products/services and are paid for thier time. Our customers are mostly municipalities and state agencies. Some of our services include print shop, optical shop, reupholstery. Our products include street signs and decals, flags, embroidery, silk screening, binders, mattresses, wood/furniture shop, textiles, clothing, metal shop which makes beds, cell furniture, and of course, license plates.

My day starts taking orders, receiving completed shipping reports, customer service calls, helping out in our show room and taking in and releasing reupholstered furniture. No two days are a like, and things can change on a dime. I enjoy the people interaction and feeling of satisfaction of fulfilling a customer's needs and rectifying any situations that may arise.

Although we are not in prison, we do have some inmates who are pre-release and they help with janitorial duties and warehouse works. Working with inmates is very interesting. There is protocol that must be followed. You cannot give them food and certain items are considered contraband. We must continually be sure we do not have any contraband - even anti-bacterial hand lotion is considered contraband. All eating utensils must be plastic. We must monitor where our scissors, letter openers and other tools are. Keys must be put into a lock box. It's amazing to me how many truck drivers will get out of their vehicles and leave them running. We frown on that in this environment.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is providing customers with quality products at a fraction of what you would pay through a "regular" retail operation.

The "worst" part, is having the customers not understand that although we are a business, we are not a typical business. People don't understand that the inmates in the shops at the various prisons don't work a regular 40 hour week. They assume that there "must be enough cons to get the job done". The prison can go into lock down, thereby losing time. If the shop instructor doesn't come in to work, the shop doesn't open. You try to defend yourself without inadvertently becoming "an unidentified DOC source".

Job Tips:
1. I would recommend courses in criminal justice as well as psychology. The dynamics in prison is extremely interesting, and the interaction with the inmates can be difficult. They can be charming but you must remember that all they think about is what you can do for them.

2. Of course, Marketing courses would be helpful as well.

Popular Schools offering Sales Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

CSU Global Campus - Management Information Systems & Business Analytics

  • Programs: Bachelors in Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader.

  • Programs: MBA - Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

  • Programs: AA - Digital Marketing
  • Degrees: Associate

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master of Business Administration, MBA - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: DBA in Marketing, Master of Business Administration: Marketing, MS in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Marketing, MBA Marketing, Associate of Arts in Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master, Associate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Marketing - PhD in Bus. Admin., Marketing - D.B.A.
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Business Administration - Marketing (BS) (Online)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Accountancy
  • Degrees: Master

MBA@Simmons is the Master of Business Administration program delivered online from Simmons School of Management.

  • Programs: MBA@Simmons
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Product Sales Representatives, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104