Does a trip back to the classroom really pay off? Just ask Louisa Lo Wai-sze, who graduated from Polytechnic University with a BSc in Textiles in 2000. After graduation, she worked as a product development trainee with a circular knit maker. One year later she enrolled in PolyU's MA in Fashion and Textiles programme while continuing to work full time. Despite a taxing schedule, the move paid off. 'In my first degree technical things were emphasised - how to make fabric, how to make yarn and how to do finishing,' Ms Lo said. 'These things were very useful, but it wasn't sufficient if I wanted to advance my career because there wasn't enough emphasis on business. The master's degree covers a lot more material, emphasising the strategic side of things. It also has some courses teaching the latest technologies in textiles and clothing.' The newly acquired knowledge has proved helpful when Ms Lo meets suppliers and vendors. 'For instance, we learned how logistics would affect the whole business cycle and how quality control would give you an advantage to compete with your competitors,' she said. As soon as Ms Lo completed her master's this summer, she was snapped up by Underarmour Performance Apparel, a sportswear brand marketed in the US. 'The master's will make it easier for me to move into management,' she said. 'I've found a better job with better career opportunities and a higher salary.'