Alumni Connection

From COD to LA -

O'Malley works for O'Brien 

Jason O'Malley

From high school through his professional career, College of DuPage alumnus Jason O’Malley has taken advantage of every opportunity and connection in TV production. All that tenacity has paid off. O’Malley is currently employed as Head of New Technology at Team Coco, the official website of Conan O'Brien and Team Coco.

“During my general education studies (at COD), I had the incredible fortune to land a job as a student aid in the multimedia services department, “ said O’Malley, “I would do everything from operate camera, edit segments highlighting school programs, digitize tapes, duplicate audio recordings, and help produce a monthly television show. And I was able to do all of this in a nurturing but professional environment. I legitimately felt I had struck gold finding a job at a television studio three minutes from my family’s home that also accommodated my class schedule.”

As a member of a family full of COD affiliations (his mother and father are alumni and his four siblings all have connections with the College) O’Malley received his associate degree in general studies from COD in 2007 and transferred to Columbia College Chicago where he received his bachelor’s in television production. While there, he landed an internship in Los Angeles for a TV show called “InfoMania, which was “perpetually short-staffed”.

“I said ‘yes’ to every single opportunity that came my way and that included operating camera, editing segments, running the teleprompter, photoshopping gags, researching viral videos, and helping on set,” said O’Malley, who currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and 3-year-old.

At the end of his internship, “InfoMania” offered O’Malley a full-time job as a production assistant. It was there that he met fellow COD alumnus Doug Karo, who recommended him for a positon on Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco digital team. Working at Team Coco for the last seven years has given O’Malley the variety he craves. He is primarily in charge of managing the digitizing, editing, cloud encoding, and posting of clips from Conan O’Brien’s 2700+ shows on NBC. However, he has also had other “adventures” including live streaming 360° video from a rooftop in San Diego, editing an animated stand-up show for Snapchat, putting microphones on his heroes from “Saturday Night Live”, seeing Team Coco win two Emmy awards and building a parody Pokémon Go phone app.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky to have jobs that allowed me to constantly bend and stretch my job titles into new and interesting areas,” said O’Malley.

What advice would O’Malley give to current COD students? It comes right back to taking advantage of opportunities.

O’Malley said, “Try say ‘yes’ as much as often as possible when presented with opportunities. You can’t always control the timing of the opportunities, but you can control how you embrace them.”


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