Nate Saathoff has been recruited by the Washington Redskins organization, but chances are he won't be hitting FedEx Field with star quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Instead, the 21-year-old Humboldt, Iowa, native will be working in the two-person graphic design department for the National Football Conference team.

"I've been a football fan my entire life, so this is pretty much my dream job," Saathoff, who officially begins his duties on March 23, explained.

More impressive, he isn't even slated to graduate with his Western Iowa Tech Community College marketplace design diploma until May.

"My work will count as credit for my associate of arts degree," Saathoff said. "I'm not too worried about it."

Indeed, he previously though design would be his hobby and not his profession.

"I took up art as a kid, drawing things on my notebook," Saathoff remembered. "Eventually, I started designing things on my computer."

Initially, the 2012 Humboldt Community High School graduate pursued nursing as a major at Fort Dodge's Iowa Central Community College before switching to a more creative field.

"When I enrolled at WIT, I thought graphic design would be more challenging," Saathoff said.

And he was able to utilize graphic design to promote the athletic teams he supported.

For nearly four years, Saathoff was the administrator of Heartland Hordes, a social media group for fans of the Seattle Sounders, an American professional soccer club. In addition, he served as the creative director for Global Scarves, which created custom scarves for athletic teams.

"Nate was always interested in sports and always interested in graphic design," WIT graphic design instructor Carol Ratliff noted. "He was just driven to find a job that would combine both of his passions."

Still, Saathoff said that wasn't always easy.

"I applied for 30 different jobs and only got three callbacks," he admitted.

One of them was for a graphic design position with the Sounders, his favorite soccer team.

"I interviewed but didn't get the job," Saathoff said. "Instead, I used it as a learning exercise. Those lessons probably helped me when I interviewed with the Redskins."

This isn't always easy, Ratliff acknowledged.

"It's hard not to get discouraged but Nate is just had so much drive," Ratliff, who taught Saathoff along with instructors Lana Brown and Lynne Wilcke, said. "It's hard to believe Nate's so young because he seems so mature."

A few weeks prior to the start of his job for the Redskins, Saathoff said he still can't believe his good luck.

"I guess it hasn't really sunk it yet," he said. "I'm sure it will soon."

Once he assumes his duties on the Redskins' graphic art department, Saathoff will be responsible for designing posters, programs, even tickets for the team.

Plus he'll be able to seen many of the Redskins games on the sidelines.

"I'll also be taking photos for the team," Saathoff explained.

However, once the novelty has ended, he thinks it will be any other job.

"My friends think it's cool that I'll be working for an NFL team," Saathoff said. "I'm more excited about challenging myself in a job that combine my love for both sports and design."


Food and Lifestyles reporter

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