My SIWES Experience: When the gown meets the town by Damilola Roleola

When the gown meets the gown
Damilola Roleola

From gown to town is a popular theme for many FYB (final year brethren) in higher institutions, where the gown implies the school and town refers to the corporate world. At events with themes like this, graduating students are told what to expect in the corporate world. Thus, they go into the battlefield preparing. This obviously put them at a disadvantage.

Thanks to programmes like the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and Industrial Training (IT), students like me who are still in ‘gowns’ can meet the ‘town’ before leaving school.

As a mass communication student in Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies, Abeokuta with a penchant for print journalism, I’ve been told a lot about the print industry, ranging from Johannes Gutenberg’s trail blazing discovery, to Townsend’s Iwe Irohin and a host of pioneer newspapers in Nigeria. But I’ve always imagined what it was like working in the print industry.

Finally, I got some of the answers during my one month training at Nigerian Tribune, Ibadan in December 2021. The septuagenarian newspaper organization was a sight to behold, right from the reception, the retinue of managerial staff, of course the bureaucracy (lol), the humongous books in the library, and then, the newsroom.

No offense to the classroom teachings but I’d beg to differ, the newsroom isn’t such a mad room after all. There was so much serenity and orderliness, yet ideas flowed seamlessly. 

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How can I forget the eloquence and style of the daily Editor, Alhaji Debo Abdulai. He was such a personality to look up to since I’ve always had passion for editing and becoming an editor.

Right there at the Nigerian Tribune newspaper, the magic of newspaper production unraveled before my naked eyes. No doubt, technology has really contributed a great deal to newspaper publication as reporters were able to send their reports from remote areas. 

Sure, there were a lot of interesting pages in the Nigerian Tribune newspaper, and each desk was saddled with preparing contents for each section. I count myself fortunate to have been on the sub-desk which was like a board of editors’ table. I did learn a lot from the sub-desk concerning editing news.

Tribune Online was one thing that caught my attention. No doubt, the online newspaper is the messiah of print journalism.

Another thing that caught my attention at Nigerian Tribune was the bond that existed between each staff, it was real and the yuletide season made it more glaring to see. It made me realize that work is not all about work.  

I came to the Nigerian Tribune as a slate partly written on, but I definitely left there a slate well written on. Now I can say, “I’m ready to go to Town.”


  • Oluwadamilola O. Roleola is a Year 4 student of the Department of Mass Communication, Harvarde College of Science and Management Studies, Abeokuta.