Thanks to his civilian job with the U.S. Navy, cost really wasn’t a factor for Mike Taskoski when choosing a school to get his master’s of business administration.
“Luckily, the government paid for it, so I had my pick,” says Taskoski, who was accepted to all five MBA programs to which he applied. 
He chose UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business based on its “very good reviews” and the flexibility of getting the degree online through the Division of Online and Continuing Education.
“I travel a lot for work, so there’s no way I could do it in the classroom,” says Taskoski, a technical program manager for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., since 2002. He also serves as a naval reservist.
“Online was the big thing. I could do my work in a hotel room on the road,” says Taskoski, who grew up a “Navy brat” living all over the world. His first visit to campus was with his wife, Raylean, for the Hooding Ceremony and Commencement
This is actually Taskoski’s third master’s degree. He earned a master of science in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2001 and an M.S. in engineering acoustics from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2008.
“This time I decided to go a nontechnical route with business,” says Taskoski, who had to take six foundational business courses before starting on the MBA curriculum. The entire process took him about five years.
Thanks to his engineering background, Taskoski did “really well” in data analytics courses.
“But I also stepped out of my comfort zone and tried to concentrate in more financial and managerial courses,” says Taskoski, who believes his MBA will help him at work.
“It gave me a bigger perspective on leadership skills,” he says. “How do you lead different types of personalities and people? That’s what I learned most.”