Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm

Ask the Experts


Hopeful Hitchhiker

Am I the only one here without a driver’s license? Should I worry and plan to get one this Summer?

When I was a teenager, getting a license was a rite of passage, granting mobility and parental independence. Surprisingly, we found your decision to delay driving is becoming more mainstream. During this decade, the number of young people without a license increased over 50%, according to DriverKnowlege, a driving permit test website.

The switch to mass transit is the leading reason. However, the motivation for the shift includes high gasoline prices, cost of insurance, environmental concern, lifestyles changes, etc.

Do these benefits outweigh the burden? First, consider your job search for Summer and after graduation. Many employers ask for a driver’s license, not just for pizza delivery. As your job responsibilities grow, you may need to meet with an out-of-town client. Mass transit does not serve many areas, nor go door-to-door.

The license should also be considered an emergency tool. Anyone who has driven family or friend to the hospital understands that.

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Website Wishing Well

I want to start an online business here in college. How can I succeed, when everybody is creating one?

There are no statistics gathered on how many students are operating a money-making website. It is a common goal we all seek. Let us focus on the psychology angle. Users should enjoy visiting your website, before they even consider spending money or reading your content. Sometimes, a small, creative change can completely enhance the user experience.

Every site has a blog. You are expected to ramble on about the product benefits or suggest ways to improve it. We reversed that and let customers write about themselves, spills company blog editor. It is better to allow bloggers self-promotion, so they will return to your site.

Another way to identify new customers is to take a survey. Visitors respond when you show their opinion is valued. Surveys are a quick method for start-ups to identify their audience, reports DevOps software programmer. Before a sale is even made, potential customers reveal what they want.

Most often, you are entering a market that seems saturated. There are no funds to invest in new technology. You can apply an existing technology to a new purpose. Photos were supplanted by
360 Video. Every local business now wants to upgrade their images. Even Google has added this to its search results. Webmasters are still scrambling to find more uses.

I answered this exact question many years ago for some student named Zuckerberg.

Sam Shepard is a marketing specialist with digital marketing agency Digital Next.

Major Mayhem

Do not use my name in this. My parents and friends are asking me what I am going to major in. How do I decide?

Your anonymous question is one of the most common on campus.

There is a basic misunderstanding about this decision. Your major does not dictate your career choice. It will be affected in unpredictable ways by social and technological changes. Many careers that flourish today, did not even exist ten years ago. The most important thing you can do in college is to be a dedicated student. What skills should you have when you graduate, that will help you succeed?
Campus recruiters agree on these interpersonal skills, when interviewing new graduates.

1. The student is a team player. They can work in a group to solve a problem.
2. Can bring a new perspective to a problem, with an education in non-traditional subjects.
3. Ability to work in a dynamic environment.

No, there is no major for this. A piece of advice that Steve Jobs shared was "do something you are passionate about."

If you are a math magician, an engineering degree gives you more opportunities than entering the manufacturing sector. You learn how to solve technical problems, which has application in pretty much any industry.

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Defenseless Driving

I had a close call driving and texting. Did everyone else already learn this lesson?

Your question received lots of press over the past few years. We expect that students already learned this lesson.

A University study by Dr. Tamyra Pierce was released back in 2010. Observing 2,582 drivers on the highway, the study noted over 17% were distracted by some other activity.

Seven years later, in 2017, U.S. traffic deaths continue to increase year-over-year. This is counterintuitive, since vehicles have become safer over time. Unfortunately, driving distractions have increased for 18- to 29-year-old drivers. In the Empire State, there has been an 840% increase in texting-while-driving tickets issued.

According to auto-accident lawyer Edward Smith, smartphones and apps have become both more prevalent and more distracting. In his article about texting and distracted driving accidents, Mr. Smith points out that thousands of people are killed every year by distracted drivers.

If you are tempted to look at your phone while driving, understand you are not alone. Scientific studies actually show the phone jingles we hear induce the release of chemicals into the brain. Those sounds make users feel rewarded, while not responding creates anxiety.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151