“The lines of truth are sometimes blurry. There is more than one side of truth,” said Cory Mellinger ’11 in talking about his most memorable class in college. Mellinger, an operations manager at the WebstaurantStore.com—a division of Clark Associates, Inc., has pursued his passion for philosophy since his time at Messiah College. Contrary to what people often think of philosophy, he has proved that studying philosophy at Messiah is beneficial for every aspect in the real life.
During his time at Messiah, Mellinger decided to double major in philosophy and business administration with a focus on leadership. Now, as an operations manager at WebstaurantStore.com, Mellinger oversees the company’s Nevada’s distribution center where his responsibility is to ensure that all facets of the operation are running efficiently and effectively.
Mellinger is currently working on different strategies for decreasing the ground and common carrier shipping damages, as well as increasing the order accuracy, where his knowledge of philosophy becomes very useful and practical.
“To accomplish these tasks requires a lot of analytical detail,” said Mellinger. “Majoring in philosophy gave me the skills needed to read months of shipping data, compose into simpler categories, identify trends, come up with strategies and increase our overall efficiency.”
Mellinger says the philosophy class that he took with Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Robin Collins at Messiah changed his perspectives and assisted his current career as a plant manager.
“For most of my life I held fast to single lines of reasoning which this course shattered, but in a good way,” said Mellinger. “I no longer felt that x is always x and, rather, x can sometimes be construed as a y, depending on your worldview and paradigm by which you live. After the course, I was able to think much deeper about issues and come to my own conclusions, instead of simply accepting conclusions that other people themselves spent time thinking about.”
And how does this translate to actually help him in his current career? “Well, in short, it has given me the ability to challenge the status quo,” said Mellinger. “Just because we have always done things a certain way does not mean that it currently is the best way. I am able to think critically through issues and come up with lists of options ordered by the most plausible.”
With his experience, Mellinger encourages students to choose a college that will offer them the support to grow personally and professionally, instead of just one or the other. Students should also choose to study something that will be challenging but useful, and that actually interests them.
“There is more than one path up the mountain,” said Mellinger. “You just need to find yours.”