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NONPROFIT VP, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS, IN-DEPTH: Having Kids In The Office Energizes Us

About this video 

Tim, the vice president of legislative affairs at StudentsFirst, describes the challenges of his job, what he likes most, his key decisions, how difficult getting into the industry is, and work-life balance. It's long hours sometimes but because the StudentsFirst mission is school reform, bringing kids into the office energizes them and their work.

Degree: Political Science
Job Title: VP, Legislative Affairs
Employer: StudentsFirst.org

Job Summary: Legislators

Job Description

Legislators are elected officials who develop laws for the federal government, or for local or state governments. Legislators are members of the legislative branch of government, which is responsible for making new laws and changing existing laws. Legislators include members of the U.S. Congress; state senators and representatives; and city, county, and township commissioners and council members. Legislators govern by proposing bills, holding votes, and passing laws. Most legislators serve on committees that oversee different areas of government policy.

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$15,000 - $85,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
Not applicable
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Travel, Remote, Indoor, Home, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Problem solving skills, Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, Leadership ability, People skills, Public speaking ability

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
Master's degree
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='320'>My</span> <span m='470'>favorite</span> <span m='720'>part</span> <span m='870'>of</span> <span m='910'>the</span> <span m='990'>job</span> <span m='1340'>is</span> <span m='1500'>also</span> <span m='1810'>probably</span> <span m='2100'>the</span> <span m='2190'>most</span> <span m='2370'>challenging.</span> <span m='2970'>It's</span> <span m='3200'>trying</span> <span m='3700'>to</span> <span m='3990'>come</span> <span m='4220'>up</span> <span m='4360'>with</span> <span m='4840'>new,</span> <span m='5120'>unique</span> <span m='5590'>ideas</span> <span m='6100'>on</span> <span m='6170'>how</span> <span m='6310'>to</span> <span m='6410'>pass</span> <span m='6730'>legislation.</span> <span m='8119'>So</span> <span m='8340'>we</span> <span m='8700'>run</span> <span m='8920'>into</span> <span m='9010'>hurdles</span> <span m='9440'>every</span> <span m='9690'>day.</span> <span m='10360'>It</span> <span m='10690'>could</span> <span m='10870'>be</span> <span m='11230'>personalities.</span> <span m='12280'>It</span> <span m='12390'>could</span> <span m='12550'>be</span> <span m='12670'>people</span> <span m='12980'>that</span> <span m='13150'>need</span> <span m='13310'>to</span> <span m='13360'>be</span> <span m='13490'>educated</span> <span m='13745'>on</span> <span m='14000'>our</span> <span m='14220'>issues.</span> <span m='14790'>It</span> <span m='14890'>could</span> <span m='15030'>be</span> <span m='15180'>getting</span> <span m='15440'>the</span> <span m='15530'>right</span> <span m='15760'>people</span> <span m='16020'>to</span> <span m='16079'>come</span> <span m='16280'>in</span> <span m='16370'>and</span> <span m='16490'>testify.</span> <span m='17870'>It</span> <span m='17980'>could</span> <span m='18130'>be</span> <span m='18240'>an</span> <span m='18400'>email</span> <span m='18820'>campaign.</span> <span m='19550'>It</span> <span m='19660'>could</span> <span m='19820'>be</span> <span m='20010'>a</span> <span m='20120'>social</span> <span m='20490'>media</span> <span m='20870'>campaign.</span> </p><p><span m='21760'>So</span> <span m='21930'>really</span> <span m='22200'>what</span> <span m='22320'>I</span> <span m='22410'>enjoy</span> <span m='22940'>most</span> <span m='24280'>is</span> <span m='24810'>trying</span> <span m='25060'>to</span> <span m='25110'>figure</span> <span m='25530'>out</span> <span m='25660'>a</span> <span m='25720'>way</span> <span m='26100'>to</span> <span m='26240'>get</span> <span m='26440'>over</span> <span m='26730'>an</span> <span m='26820'>obstacle.</span> <span m='27590'>And</span> <span m='27700'>that's</span> <span m='27890'>again</span> <span m='28270'>the</span> <span m='28360'>most</span> <span m='28590'>challenging.</span> <span m='29100'>But</span> <span m='29260'>it's</span> <span m='29390'>also,</span> <span m='30180'>on top of</span> <span m='30460'>that,</span> <span m='30660'>the</span> <span m='30730'>most</span> <span m='30960'>rewarding,</span> <span m='31245'>be</span> <span m='31530'>because</span> <span m='32210'>there</span> <span m='32460'>is</span> <span m='32580'>a</span> <span m='32650'>time</span> <span m='33420'>that</span> <span m='33550'>our</span> <span m='33650'>bills</span> <span m='33950'>come</span> <span m='34100'>up</span> <span m='34240'>for</span> <span m='34370'>a</span> <span m='34420'>vote.</span> <span m='34750'>And</span> <span m='34960'>we'll</span> <span m='35130'>find</span> <span m='35450'>out</span> <span m='35630'>if</span> <span m='35760'>our</span> <span m='35920'>efforts</span> <span m='36200'>are</span> <span m='36310'>successful</span> <span m='36820'>or</span> <span m='36920'>not.</span> </p><p><span m='37680'>My key</span> <span m='37960'>decision</span> <span m='38670'>wasn't</span> <span m='39000'>actually</span> <span m='39310'>my</span> <span m='39520'>decision.</span> <span m='40550'>When</span> <span m='40770'>I</span> <span m='40900'>won</span> <span m='41560'>as</span> <span m='41710'>a</span> <span m='41770'>state</span> <span m='41990'>representative,</span> <span m='42560'>I</span> <span m='42620'>was</span> <span m='42760'>a</span> <span m='42820'>freshman.</span> <span m='43660'>The</span> <span m='43770'>Speaker</span> <span m='44090'>of</span> <span m='44150'>the</span> <span m='44220'>House</span> <span m='44550'>is</span> <span m='44690'>the</span> <span m='44780'>person</span> <span m='45100'>that</span> <span m='45230'>actually</span> <span m='45600'>chooses</span> <span m='46220'>what</span> <span m='46500'>committees</span> <span m='46880'>you</span> <span m='47020'>sit</span> <span m='47250'>on.</span> <span m='47950'>The</span> <span m='48410'>Speaker of the House</span> <span m='48870'>actually</span> <span m='49240'>asked</span> <span m='49600'>me</span> <span m='49780'>to</span> <span m='49950'>serve</span> <span m='50560'>not</span> <span m='50770'>only</span> <span m='50960'>on the</span> <span m='51100'>education</span> <span m='51630'>committee,</span> <span m='51890'>but</span> <span m='52100'>to</span> <span m='52230'>chair</span> <span m='52620'>it</span> <span m='52820'>as</span> <span m='52950'>a</span> <span m='53000'>freshman.</span> <span m='53930'>And</span> <span m='54330'>I</span> <span m='54400'>really</span> <span m='54670'>just</span> <span m='54860'>asked</span> <span m='55670'>the</span> <span m='55770'>Speaker</span> <span m='56100'>one</span> <span m='56300'>thing,</span> <span m='57020'>\"Give</span> <span m='57140'>me</span> <span m='57300'>a</span> <span m='57350'>few</span> <span m='57570'>months</span> <span m='57880'>to</span> <span m='57980'>figure</span> <span m='58710'>this</span> <span m='58940'>out</span> <span m='59230'>and</span> <span m='59360'>study</span> <span m='59680'>it.</span> <span m='59970'>But</span> <span m='60080'>I</span> <span m='60140'>want</span> <span m='60530'>your</span> <span m='60720'>support.\"</span> </p><p><span m='61470'>I</span> <span m='61630'>spent</span> <span m='61830'>a</span> <span m='61880'>few</span> <span m='62080'>months</span> <span m='62320'>studying</span> <span m='62710'>education</span> <span m='63050'>and</span> <span m='63510'>the</span> <span m='63590'>state</span> <span m='63860'>of</span> <span m='63950'>education</span> <span m='64204'>in</span> <span m='64459'>America.</span> <span m='65280'>And</span> <span m='65489'>then</span> <span m='65700'>I</span> <span m='65730'>went</span> <span m='65960'>back</span> <span m='66210'>to</span> <span m='66300'>him</span> <span m='66430'>with</span> <span m='66560'>a</span> <span m='66590'>couple</span> <span m='66850'>plans.</span> <span m='67790'>He</span> <span m='67970'>supported</span> <span m='68440'>me,</span> <span m='68540'>and</span> <span m='68650'>I</span> <span m='68720'>became</span> <span m='69140'>very,</span> <span m='69430'>very</span> <span m='69700'>invested</span> <span m='70530'>in</span> <span m='70700'>school</span> <span m='71010'>reform.</span> <span m='71490'>And</span> <span m='71620'>seeing</span> <span m='71970'>how</span> <span m='72420'>in</span> <span m='72640'>some</span> <span m='72890'>areas</span> <span m='73210'>of</span> <span m='73290'>the</span> <span m='73360'>country</span> <span m='74390'>kids</span> <span m='74680'>aren't</span> <span m='74800'>given</span> <span m='75110'>the</span> <span m='75180'>best</span> <span m='75470'>opportunities</span> <span m='76090'>through</span> <span m='76190'>the</span> <span m='76310'>education</span> <span m='76800'>system.</span> </p><p><span m='77200'>And</span> <span m='77340'>this</span> <span m='77500'>became</span> <span m='77920'>a</span> <span m='78050'>passion</span> <span m='78570'>of</span> <span m='78670'>mine,</span> <span m='79390'>and</span> <span m='79740'>it</span> <span m='79910'>really</span> <span m='80180'>grew</span> <span m='80560'>inside</span> <span m='80980'>of</span> <span m='81040'>me.</span> <span m='81170'>So</span> <span m='81320'>really</span> <span m='81960'>the</span> <span m='82050'>decision</span> <span m='82420'>was</span> <span m='82600'>to</span> <span m='82700'>run</span> <span m='82970'>for</span> <span m='83130'>office.</span> <span m='83520'>But</span> <span m='83670'>then</span> <span m='84290'>that</span> <span m='84470'>decision</span> <span m='84950'>for</span> <span m='85220'>me</span> <span m='85410'>to</span> <span m='85520'>go</span> <span m='85690'>the</span> <span m='85820'>education</span> <span m='86390'>route</span> <span m='86640'>was</span> <span m='86760'>really</span> <span m='86990'>made</span> <span m='87310'>for</span> <span m='87580'>me,</span> <span m='87690'>and</span> <span m='87790'>I</span> <span m='87860'>became</span> <span m='88180'>very</span> <span m='88430'>passionate.</span> <span m='89190'>That's what sort</span> <span m='89360'>of</span> <span m='89450'>led</span> <span m='89680'>me</span> <span m='89800'>to</span> <span m='89890'>StudentsFirst,</span> <span m='90840'>and</span> <span m='90990'>now</span> <span m='91150'>on</span> <span m='91290'>this</span> <span m='91500'>national front</span> </p><p><span m='92790'>So</span> <span m='92920'>the</span> <span m='92990'>question</span> <span m='93240'>is</span> <span m='93350'>is</span> <span m='93470'>it</span> <span m='93820'>hard</span> <span m='94040'>to</span> <span m='94090'>get</span> <span m='94240'>a</span> <span m='94510'>job</span> <span m='94830'>in</span> <span m='94880'>this</span> <span m='95070'>field.</span> <span m='97810'>The</span> <span m='97970'>educational</span> <span m='98540'>reform</span> <span m='98980'>field</span> <span m='99290'>is</span> <span m='99380'>something</span> <span m='99810'>that</span> <span m='100250'>you</span> <span m='100360'>need</span> <span m='100590'>to</span> <span m='100640'>be</span> <span m='100780'>passionate</span> <span m='101260'>about.</span> <span m='102020'>If</span> <span m='102130'>you</span> <span m='102270'>have</span> <span m='102490'>passion and</span> <span m='103130'>believe</span> <span m='103430'>what</span> <span m='103530'>you're</span> <span m='103650'>doing,</span> <span m='104370'>you're</span> <span m='104630'>going</span> <span m='104740'>to</span> <span m='104790'>be</span> <span m='104920'>able</span> <span m='105050'>to</span> <span m='105100'>find</span> <span m='105320'>a</span> <span m='105360'>job.</span> <span m='106090'>We</span> <span m='106430'>have</span> <span m='106610'>people</span> <span m='107020'>that</span> <span m='107260'>have</span> <span m='107570'>great</span> <span m='107970'>pedigrees,</span> <span m='108530'>have</span> <span m='108710'>gone</span> <span m='108970'>to</span> <span m='109440'>Harvard,</span> <span m='110220'>Yale,</span> <span m='111060'>and</span> <span m='111460'>can</span> <span m='111650'>really</span> <span m='112000'>choose</span> <span m='112830'>to</span> <span m='112950'>go</span> <span m='113180'>into</span> <span m='114060'>another</span> <span m='114360'>career</span> <span m='114640'>field.</span> <span m='115100'>But</span> <span m='115280'>they</span> <span m='115400'>actually</span> <span m='115920'>have</span> <span m='116070'>decided</span> <span m='116660'>this</span> <span m='116830'>is</span> <span m='116920'>something</span> <span m='117240'>they're</span> <span m='117380'>passionate</span> <span m='117820'>about.</span> </p><p><span m='118430'>And</span> <span m='118540'>then</span> <span m='118650'>we</span> <span m='118770'>have</span> <span m='118940'>people</span> <span m='119220'>that</span> <span m='119330'>have</span> <span m='119420'>interned</span> <span m='119860'>here</span> <span m='120110'>and</span> <span m='120410'>stayed</span> <span m='120720'>on</span> <span m='121260'>after</span> <span m='121530'>their</span> <span m='121710'>internship.</span> <span m='122500'>There are</span> <span m='122680'>people</span> <span m='122900'>that</span> <span m='123080'>moved</span> <span m='123410'>all</span> <span m='123590'>over</span> <span m='123710'>the</span> <span m='123810'>country</span> <span m='124190'>to</span> <span m='124250'>be</span> <span m='124390'>housed</span> <span m='124730'>here</span> <span m='124890'>in</span> <span m='124950'>Sacramento.</span> <span m='125840'>So</span> <span m='126000'>this</span> <span m='126200'>is</span> <span m='126310'>something</span> <span m='126650'>that</span> <span m='127030'>the</span> <span m='127140'>first</span> <span m='127370'>thing</span> <span m='127510'>I</span> <span m='127600'>look</span> <span m='127800'>for in</span> <span m='127970'>my</span> <span m='128169'>employees</span> <span m='128900'>is</span> <span m='129270'>do you</span> <span m='129460'>really</span> <span m='129669'>believe</span> <span m='130000'>this</span> <span m='130150'>issue.</span> <span m='130520'>This</span> <span m='130699'>isn't</span> <span m='130850'>a</span> <span m='131410'>9 to 5</span> <span m='132000'>job.</span> <span m='132330'>This</span> <span m='132480'>is</span> <span m='132600'>something</span> <span m='132880'>that</span> <span m='133050'>you</span> <span m='133230'>live,</span> <span m='133670'>breathe.</span> <span m='134550'>When</span> <span m='134870'>you</span> <span m='134970'>go</span> <span m='135100'>to</span> <span m='135160'>Thanksgiving</span> <span m='135680'>dinner,</span> <span m='136000'>you're</span> <span m='136180'>going</span> <span m='136260'>to</span> <span m='136300'>be</span> <span m='136420'>asked</span> <span m='136690'>about</span> <span m='136910'>this</span> <span m='137090'>job.</span> <span m='137460'>So</span> <span m='138170'>I</span> <span m='138450'>would</span> <span m='138570'>say</span> <span m='138660'>number</span> <span m='138910'>one,</span> <span m='139140'>if</span> <span m='139240'>you're</span> <span m='139380'>passionate</span> <span m='139820'>about</span> <span m='140040'>this</span> <span m='140190'>job</span> <span m='140830'>you're</span> <span m='141010'>definitely</span> <span m='141630'>going</span> <span m='141770'>to</span> <span m='141820'>make</span> <span m='142080'>it,</span> <span m='142730'>because</span> <span m='142990'>we</span> <span m='143190'>are</span> <span m='143300'>looking</span> <span m='143680'>for</span> <span m='143820'>hungry</span> <span m='144170'>people</span> <span m='144470'>in</span> <span m='144520'>this</span> <span m='144680'>field.</span> </p><p><span m='145630'>My</span> <span m='145770'>work-life</span> <span m='146170'>balance.</span> <span m='147270'>I</span> <span m='147420'>work</span> <span m='147770'>really</span> <span m='147990'>hard.</span> <span m='149280'>We</span> <span m='149430'>work</span> <span m='149750'>all</span> <span m='149990'>kinds</span> <span m='150300'>of</span> <span m='150660'>crazy</span> <span m='151150'>hours</span> <span m='151520'>because</span> <span m='151820'>we're</span> <span m='152040'>on</span> <span m='152120'>the</span> <span m='152210'>West</span> <span m='152480'>Coast,</span> <span m='152890'>and</span> <span m='153280'>16</span> <span m='153770'>of</span> <span m='153860'>our</span> <span m='153970'>states</span> <span m='154250'>happen</span> <span m='154520'>to</span> <span m='154560'>be</span> <span m='154670'>on the</span> <span m='154810'>East</span> <span m='155040'>Coast.</span> <span m='156140'>So</span> <span m='156330'>my</span> <span m='156520'>phone</span> <span m='156860'>starts</span> <span m='156970'>ringing</span> <span m='157240'>very</span> <span m='157570'>early</span> <span m='157800'>in</span> <span m='157860'>the</span> <span m='157930'>morning.</span> <span m='158300'>My</span> <span m='158430'>email</span> <span m='158770'>starts</span> <span m='159100'>dinging</span> <span m='159470'>about</span> <span m='159840'>5:00, 5:30</span> <span m='160820'>in</span> <span m='160880'>the</span> <span m='160950'>morning.</span> </p><p><span m='161960'>One</span> <span m='162150'>thing</span> <span m='162340'>I</span> <span m='162460'>do</span> <span m='162640'>is--</span> <span m='162710'>I have</span> <span m='163040'>two</span> <span m='163180'>young</span> <span m='163450'>kids</span> <span m='163740'>and a great</span> <span m='164130'>wife--</span> <span m='164680'>I</span> <span m='164880'>really</span> <span m='165230'>try</span> <span m='165400'>to</span> <span m='165500'>decompress</span> <span m='166070'>over</span> <span m='166200'>the</span> <span m='166280'>weekends.</span> <span m='166810'>So</span> <span m='167000'>I</span> <span m='167110'>may</span> <span m='167280'>be</span> <span m='167430'>working</span> <span m='167830'>long</span> <span m='168200'>hours</span> <span m='168580'>Monday</span> <span m='168840'>through</span> <span m='168970'>Friday,</span> <span m='169670'>but</span> <span m='169900'>I</span> <span m='169980'>really</span> <span m='170340'>shut</span> <span m='170590'>it</span> <span m='170690'>all</span> <span m='170870'>down</span> <span m='171100'>on</span> <span m='171180'>the</span> <span m='171270'>weekend</span> <span m='171720'>and</span> <span m='171810'>try</span> <span m='171940'>to</span> <span m='172000'>spend</span> <span m='172180'>as</span> <span m='172300'>much</span> <span m='172520'>time</span> <span m='172680'>with</span> <span m='172800'>my</span> <span m='172910'>kids</span> <span m='173170'>as</span> <span m='173280'>possible.</span> </p><p><span m='174360'>But</span> <span m='174660'>being</span> <span m='175160'>in</span> <span m='175700'>a</span> <span m='175830'>job</span> <span m='176210'>that</span> <span m='176360'>deals</span> <span m='176620'>with</span> <span m='177140'>the</span> <span m='177240'>legislature</span> <span m='177960'>in</span> <span m='178100'>18</span> <span m='178390'>different</span> <span m='178700'>states,</span> <span m='179490'>our</span> <span m='179700'>calendar is</span> <span m='180220'>really</span> <span m='180430'>based</span> <span m='180730'>on</span> <span m='180810'>their</span> <span m='180970'>calendar.</span> <span m='181500'>We</span> <span m='181670'>don't</span> <span m='181870'>take</span> <span m='182060'>vacations</span> <span m='182710'>unless</span> <span m='182760'>the</span> <span m='183030'>legislature is</span> <span m='183660'>on</span> <span m='183790'>vacation.</span> <span m='184330'>We</span> <span m='184490'>don't</span> <span m='184710'>have</span> <span m='184900'>days</span> <span m='185200'>off</span> <span m='185550'>unless</span> <span m='185630'>the</span> <span m='185920'>legislature is</span> <span m='186470'>not</span> <span m='186700'>in.</span> <span m='187600'>So</span> <span m='187900'>really</span> <span m='188570'>our</span> <span m='188730'>calendar is</span> <span m='189240'>based</span> <span m='189580'>on</span> <span m='189770'>the</span> <span m='189870'>job</span> <span m='190140'>that</span> <span m='190250'>we</span> <span m='190360'>have,</span> <span m='190790'>but</span> <span m='191080'>we</span> <span m='191290'>really</span> <span m='191620'>do</span> <span m='192010'>try</span> <span m='192200'>to</span> <span m='192290'>balance</span> <span m='192680'>work-life.</span> </p><p><span m='192920'>A</span> <span m='193280'>lot</span> <span m='193490'>of</span> <span m='193560'>things</span> <span m='193840'>in</span> <span m='193920'>our</span> <span m='194060'>office,</span> <span m='194810'>it's a</span> <span m='194980'>more</span> <span m='195170'>casual</span> <span m='195600'>environment.</span> <span m='196470'>When</span> <span m='196640'>my</span> <span m='196770'>kids</span> <span m='197050'>don't</span> <span m='197200'>have</span> <span m='197350'>school,</span> <span m='197790'>I can</span> <span m='197880'>bring</span> <span m='198150'>them</span> <span m='198370'>in.</span> <span m='198640'>We</span> <span m='198870'>have</span> <span m='199350'>a</span> <span m='199500'>Wii.</span> <span m='199980'>We</span> <span m='200070'>have</span> <span m='200200'>an</span> <span m='200300'>Xbox</span> <span m='200870'>set</span> <span m='201060'>up.</span> <span m='201410'>We</span> <span m='201500'>have</span> <span m='202060'>toys</span> <span m='202450'>for the</span> <span m='202550'>kids</span> <span m='202880'>to</span> <span m='202980'>play</span> <span m='203250'>with.</span> <span m='203540'>So</span> <span m='204100'>our</span> <span m='204210'>environment</span> <span m='204480'>in</span> <span m='204750'>our</span> <span m='204910'>office is</span> <span m='205350'>more</span> <span m='205670'>laid</span> <span m='205910'>back.</span> <span m='206250'>And because</span> <span m='206650'>we're</span> <span m='206860'>a school</span> <span m='207080'>reform</span> <span m='207550'>type</span> <span m='207790'>of</span> <span m='207970'>organization</span> <span m='208340'>and</span> <span m='208710'>think</span> <span m='209200'>kids'</span> <span m='209440'>opinions</span> <span m='209940'>actually</span> <span m='210230'>matter,</span> <span m='210950'>having them</span> <span m='211270'>in</span> <span m='211340'>the</span> <span m='211520'>office</span> <span m='211830'>actually</span> <span m='212140'>energizes</span> <span m='212740'>us</span> <span m='212890'>as</span> <span m='213010'>well.</span> </p>","file":{"id":378834,"video_id":"3381405630001","name":"2335-Tim-VPLegislativeAffairs2","duration":214065,"thumbnail_url":null}});