Do you know the German physicist Albert Einstein once quoted:

“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience. You need experience to gain wisdom”

As a Nigerian Student, studying Physics, at the University of Ibadan, I was required to participate in the SIWES program in my second year of study.

I researched and considered doing my SIWES program at a radio station as it must be relevant to my course of study.

I was curious as to what role Physics plays in the broadcasting world. Join me as I share what I acquired during my SIWES program.

The History Of SIWES

The acronym SIWES stands for Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme.

SIWES was established by Industrial Training Funds (ITF) in 1973 under the Ministry of Industry.

It is a program created to help students of tertiary institutions acquire experience in the real work environment.

The duration of this program can be different in each tertiary institution. It is a compulsory program for every Nigerian student for graduation.

Placement Of My SIWES Program

After we, students, were allowed to choose any place related to our fields of study for our SIWES, I did my research.

As a Physics student, there are a lot of fields and sectors where I can participate in my SIWES program.

Those sectors are not limited to:

  • Research laboratories
  • Hospitals
  • Telecommunications
  • Data Science
  • Radiation institutes
  • Broadcasting, and so on.

I considered picking a radio station because I want to know how Physics is relevant to the broadcasting field.

Basically, broadcasting is all about mass communication and it serves three broad purposes, and they include:

  • They are to inform.
  • To educate.
  • To entertain the audience.

This made me more eager to know the roles Physics plays in broadcasting.

My First Day Of SIWES Program At A Radio Station 

It all started when I was accepted to do my SIWES program at a radio station to where I had applied. I was really happy when I received the acceptance letter to start my SIWES at the Radio station.

On my first day, I met with other students from other tertiary institutions who were also there for SIWES. Everything and everyone was new to me.

We then had a meeting that morning with the station manager and the secretary director.

This was my first time attending an official meeting of an organization. I got to know how a meeting should be held in an organization.

The meeting started with an opening prayer, and a student read the minutes of the last meeting. Someone else adapted the read minutes.

I and other new SIWES students were officially introduced to the station Manager.

The station manager reminded us to focus on the reason we came to do our SIWES program at the radio station so that we could achieve our goals.

He advised us to do research on our own and ask questions from the workers to gain more knowledge.

The secretary-manager also read to us the rules and policy of the Radio Station. She gave a short notice about the undertaken letter we have submitted.

The undertaken letter entails us abiding by the rules and policy of the Radio Station.

After the successful meeting was adjourned and adapted to the following week, I was assigned to the recording studio.

My fellow new students were also assigned to other departments in the station.

The departments in the radio station include:

  • The Newsroom.
  • The reception.
  • The recording studio, and so on.

I was so intrigued about what to learn in the recording studio.

How relevant it is to physics, my course of study?

Skills I Acquired During My SIWES Program 

When I moved to the recording studio, I introduced myself to studio engineers and the volunteers. They welcomed me warmly and told me the basic rules of the recording studio.

“No eating in the recording studio,”

The studio engineer mentioned. I nodded as I was sure I wouldn’t bend the rule.

But why can’t we eat here? I marvel to myself confusedly.

“Do you know the reason we should not eat in the studio?” The studio Engineer asked me as if he could read my mind.

“No Sir!” I replied.

“Eating here will cause rats in the studio,” He started to explain. “And these rats can cause damage to the equipment here,”

I thanked him for the clarification.

After that, my fellow student, Joshua, showed me around the recording studio.

Joshua was like my senior intern in the recording studio since he had started his SIWES before me.

In fact, he had been to all the departments in the station. He was now in the recording studio. He is a student of mass communication.

I got to know from him that the recording studio is divided into two units which are:

  • The recording room.
  • The editing room.

The presenters invite their visitors to record their programs in the recording room.

The recorded programs will be edited in the editing room using the equipment. To record a program, I learned how to use the Adobe Audition software application and the audio mixer.

I was also taught how to edit the recorded programs. Editing includes:

  • Cutting.
  • Trimming the sound recording of a program where mistakes appeared.
  • Amplifying the recorded program by increasing or decreasing the intensity.

I got to understand how Physics plays a role in the recording studio in the aspect of sound waves.

A sound wave is defined as a simple pressure wave caused by the movement of air molecules away from the source.

The characteristics of sound waves include:

  • The pitch.
  • Quality or tone.
  • Loudness and intensity.

These are what we considered when recording and editing in the recording studio.

As days passed by, my fellow students and I would make programs, record, and edit them. We also practiced how to mix and join separate multitrack sound recordings.

On my own, I was able to record and edit programs that were broadcast and disseminated in the Live Studio.

Knowledge I Acquired During My SIWES Program

The news and programs are broadcast and disseminated in the Live studio.

To acquire knowledge of how the news and programs are transmitted, my fellow SIWES students and I addressed the studio engineer.

He was glad about how we thought of asking him and he took us to the transmitter room.

He let us know that the transmitter is the most electronic equipment in a broadcast studio. We learned that the transmitter is used to send broadcasting signals.

Without the transmitter, it is impossible to send information to people through radio and television.

He then asked me to define radio waves as a Physics student. I smiled as I tried to remember what radio waves are all about.

“Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic wave with the highest wavelengths and lowest frequency” I answered.

He explained further that due to the shorter frequency and longer wavelength,

Radio waves are widely used for the wireless transmission of signals for communication.

“The transmitter is just electronic equipment,” He continued.

From where I stood I could see the transmitter rack as he was pointing at it.

“The transmitter produces radio waves with an antenna for distributing signals,” He added.

He later gave us an assignment to research more about how the transmitter sends signals.

We thanked him for helping us to understand the important things in the radio station.

My Experience In My SIWES Program

The SIWES program provided me with an avenue to acquire industrial skills in my course of study. It enlightened me about the major roles of Physics in broadcasting.

In the areas of:

  • Sound waves.
  • Electromagnetic waves.
  • Radio waves.
  • Transmitter and Receiver.

I got to know that broadcasting is made possible through the use of Physics.

Getting to work in a real work environment through the SIWES program for two months, I gained basic experience. They are:

  • Punctuality.
  • Time management.
  • Completion of required tasks and meeting deadlines.
  • Teamwork.
  • Creativity
  • Learning.
  • Confidence.

I was exposed to the mode of working at the radio station and techniques of handling the equipment.

When I was assigned to other departments such as the reception, I learned to increase my communication level by interacting and networking with people.

The Benefits Of SIWES

The Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) program is a beneficial program for students in tertiary institutions. I am delighted to have participated in the program.

Every Nigerian Student needs practical skills relevant to the theoretical aspect we have acquired in our various fields of study. This is why the SIWES program was established for us to participate before graduation.

SIWES helps us to accompany theoretical education with practical education. It created the ways students are exposed to the methods of working in the industry.

In industry, students learned the techniques of handling equipment. These equipment are or may not be available in educational institutions.

The experience, skills, and knowledge I acquired are of great importance to me. It will help me prepare myself before stepping into the real work environment in the near future.

I am looking forward to registering for the SIWES program in my third year of study.

This time I am choosing another industrial sector relevant to my field of study. I look forward to acquiring new experience in my next SIWES program.

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