Volume 04, Issue 4
Fields of dreams
Football skills help engineer tackle career
BY CARRIE THEARLE
We all know how tough it is to balance our jobs and our personal lives. Imagine, then, the demands of balancing two jobs: full time work on Future Combat Systems (FCS) and the responsibilities of playing quarterback on a professional football team.
Meet Anthony Fisher.
Fresh from Southern University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Fisher joined the Boeing FCS Complementary Programs & Core Systems Integration (CP&CSI) Team in September 2003. Also on his resume is his role as quarterback for his college team, a position Fisher did well enough at to have the option of pursuing a career in professional sports.
He chose both.
A BALANCING ACT
During the week, Fisher is a systems engineer working as a program integrator on the St. Louis–based CP&CSI Team. Execution of this role required Fisher to tuck away, for now, the technical engineering he had studied and instead learn and adopt the procedures of a Program Management Office. Drawing from his sports background gave him the ability to immediately understand what it means to be a team player and accept the “coaching” of his managers in learning his new role.
After hours and on weekends, Fisher butts heads with the big boys of the National Indoor Football League. In a case of classic understatement, Fisher said wryly, “as a college football quarterback, I learned how to ‘multitask’ and make decisions while under pressure.” That’s “pressure” as in facing a blitzing linebacker or meeting a crushing FCS deadline.
These are skills he’s transferred to his Boeing engineering career.
Other attributes Fisher’s borrowed from the football field are discipline and dedication, said Melissa Mattmuller, Fisher’s manager on Complementary Programs.
“Things get pretty busy at work, and finding time to check on newly hired employees can be a challenge. I used to be surprised to find that while no one was watching, Anthony was quietly ‘advancing the ball and scoring touchdowns’ on the job. I’m not surprised any more,” Mattmuller said. “But more than an individual performer, he’s quick to assist other teammates.”
Many of his Boeing teammates can be found in the St. Charles (Mo.) Family Arena on Friday and Saturday nights, cheering on Fisher as he lobs passes downfield for his team, the River City Rage. He joined St. Louis’ professional arena football team in February and, as the Rage’s backup quarterback and member of the special teams units, sports the number 14.
Fisher’s schedule includes his full week at work and hours spent practicing and playing with the Rage. In his “spare time,” Fisher is working toward his master’s degree in engineering management, and he also coaches the CP&CSI softball team that competes in the Boeing recreational league. Otherwise he leads the life of a typical 25-year-old—only a scaled down version.
What does Fisher think? He just considers it all a dream come true.
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