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Alumna Creates Success in Political Communication

Adonna Biel meets with Joe Biden during presidential campaign
Courtesy: Adonna Biel

Adonna Biel, most recently Deputy Press Secretary for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, received her bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in public relations as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from NC State in 2017. Biel has gathered a wide range of knowledge through her many internships and positions in news and politics, but credits the Department of Communication for her success in public speaking and working in a fast-paced environment.

First, I asked Ms. Biel how she became interested in politics and why she chose to double major in communication/public relations and political science. “For me, it was more about learning skills that I could use to work forward,” Biel replied as she explained that she knew she didn’t want to become a lawyer, but that she wanted to gain skills that made sense for her future career. Biel states that NC State’s programs helped her gain transferable skills that could not only help her future in politics but also allow these skills to transfer into many other fields. By taking classes that focused on different skills, Biel was able to learn and practice working in a fast-paced environment in a creative way, “You don’t realize how important these skills are until you actually have to go and do them. It gives you a lot of different options.”

After we spoke about the broad range of skills that Biel was able to acquire, I asked if she had any particular experiences or internships that motivated her to be where she is today. She mentioned that she was an intern for a state senator for two years and explained that being able to work in the capitol was really important for her because she was able to work hands-on with the senator as well as make connections for the future. Being able to do that allowed her to understand how things work from a local perspective.

What excites Adonna Biel the most about her experience in working in politics is that she feels a sense of community. She explained that everybody who she works with is there because they are fighting for a common goal and something that is mutually believed in. She also explained that you can’t just take a job because it’s a “good job”, but that it’s a lot of work and sacrifices. She assured me that political communication is a fun job, but that it’s not always glamorous and there were times where she asked herself, “What did I get myself into?”.

Finally, I asked Biel what she planned to share with students at the Undergraduate Speaker Series in mid-late February. She replied that she is excited to share that not everybody has the same path. As well as this, she believes that politics is interesting because there are no two people who have the exact same background or got their job the same way.

“Everybody has their own path. It’s what works for you and your skills and once you have those skills there are so many routes that you can go in communication and political science.”