Angela Petillo '71

Television Business Affairs Executive at William Morris Endeavor

The opportunities that come with a Montclair State degree are endless. Montclair State graduates work in every field, all over the world. Often, students come to the University with some idea of a career they’d like to pursue after graduation, only to discover an entirely new passion and end up taking a completely different path than they imagined.

Angela Petillo ’71, an English major, is an attorney who functions as a business affairs executive at William Morris Endeavor, a large-scale talent agency that represents producers, musicians, authors, athletes, actors and professional speakers. As a television industry executive, Petillo represents her clients’ business deal interests during the development and production processes for new and existing television shows.

The key to success as a business affairs executive is strong written and verbal communication skills, skills that English majors develop during their course of study. During her time at Montclair State, Petillo made sure to learn how to communicate effectively. She credits two professors in particular with instilling these skills in her: Dr. Barrett, an English professor; and Dr. Garibaldi, an Education professor.

“Dr. Garibaldi really encouraged me to be present and attune to what was going on in the classroom when I did my student teaching,” she said. “He was all about staying with what was present and going with that rather than some rule book.”

Dr. Barrett helped mold Petillo into the attorney she is today. “Dr. Barrett was a stickler for grammar and concise writing. She used a book called Writing with a Purpose, which I still have and have referred to many times over the years.” Brevity, an essential skill in the lawyer’s toolbox, was the most important thing Petillo says she learned from Dr. Barrett. “She facilitated my writing to be clear and to the point.”

She looks back on those days fondly. “My favorite memory from Montclair State is the fellow students I met there. Everyone seemed to really understand one another very well.” Being part of such a tight-knit group enabled Petillo and her classmates to network and grow together. “It was like we were all part of one big family. We were supportive of each other and very connected.”

Networking in those early days gave Petillo a jumpstart into the world of business and law. Rather than feeling thrown into the unruly sea of professional life, Petillo was prepared to take on any challenges she faced. “Montclair provided me with an excellent, solid education for stepping into the world as a well-prepared, educated individual,” she said. “Its location as part of the East Coast metropolitan area prepared me well for my time in Europe after college.” Looking back on her years as a student, Petillo recognizes Montclair State for everything it provides. “It was also great preparation for law school and success in my career as a television business affairs attorney/agent.”