‘We Met at Tuck’: Get to Know Tuck Business Bridge Alumni Jacqueline and Chase Carpenter
Jacqueline Carpenter (Bender), an award-winning TV host, producer, and journalist, and Chase Carpenter, senior director of strategy & analytics at The Chicago Cubs, met while attending the Tuck Business Bridge Program in 2008.
The Tuck Business Bridge Program at Dartmouth provides undergraduates and recent graduates with essential business skills by combining an intensive classroom experience and the hands-on training of an internship—all designed to help students launch a rewarding career.
We sat down with the Carpenters to learn more about how they met, their biggest takeaways from their Tuck Bridge experience, and what they’ve been up to since their time in Hanover.
Can you start by sharing a little more about your current role, your career, and what you’ve been up to since attending Tuck Bridge?
Chase: I lead The Chicago Cubs’ Business Analytics Group as part of the Front Office Strategy Team. I joined the team just before the 2016 World Series and oversee ticket pricing and management of many of the ballpark’s vendors and event operations. I work alongside the rest of the executive team to set the business up for long term success.
After graduating from Dartmouth College and Tuck Bridge, I began my career at RSG, a Dartmouth-borne consulting group that specializes in product development and pricing strategy across many industries.
Jackie and I met at Tuck Bridge in 2008, lived in Hanover until 2011, and then moved to Chicago where I earned my MBA. We married in 2015.
Jackie: I have been a TV host, reporter, producer, and editor for national and local TV shows, publications, networks, and news outlets. I run my own media consulting business and just wrote my first children’s book. My other full-time job is mom to our son Charlie (3) and daughter Kensington (1).
Why did you choose to attend Tuck Bridge?
Jackie: I was working as a TV reporter for a local NBC station in 2008. I saw Tuck Bridge as a way to gain some business expertise both on air and off. I hoped to establish a niche in business reporting and also better understand the business of television. By speaking the language of TV executives, I knew I could better align my goals with theirs and fast track my career. I was also excited to be around like-minded peers.
Chase: Consistent with the Bridge mission, I viewed Tuck Bridge as a highly valued business complement to my liberal arts focus in undergrad (government major, psychology minor). I wanted to gain core business skills that I had not yet been exposed to during my Undergraduate studies and internships. The potential job prospects and networking opportunities were also compelling, as the job market in Summer 2008 was challenging with the Great Recession unfolding.
Do you remember the first time you saw each other? How did you end up staying in touch?
Chase: We met the first day at the welcome dinner. Just before the dinner, we were all assembled in the main classroom, and I remember Paul Doscher saying,
Look around the room. Two of you might get married!
Jackie: Chase came to sit with me at the dinner the first day, and after that I remember spending a lot of time actively trying to run into him! We went on our first date the second week of the program and have been together for fifteen years now and married for almost eight.
What were some of your biggest takeaways from your Bridge experience—perhaps lessons you still call upon in your role today?
Chase: I still have vivid memories of our Capstone Project presentation on US Steel. That experience drove home the value of running a thoughtful and thorough research process, having your presentation dialed, and knowing your materials well enough that you can be adaptive and responsive to questions and comments live. Nearly all professional presentations are “high stakes” in some capacity so having the opportunity to refine those skills has been valuable in my career.
Jackie: My lasting takeaway from Tuck Bridge is the network and friendships. In addition to meeting my husband in the program, we made lifelong friends there. When we got married—seven years after the program—we had three of our Tuck Bridge classmates in attendance, one of whom flew in from Africa for the occasion, and another who I lived with after Tuck and who also worked with Chase. It’s been a great group of people to know both personally and professionally and after going through such a comprehensive intensive program together, it sets the foundation for a lifelong bond.
What advice do you have for undergraduate students who are exploring their career options and considering a program like Bridge?
Jackie: No matter what industry you work in or want to work in, an understanding of business is powerful. It trained me to think in a more entrepreneurial way. Rather than going to a TV executive and saying “here are my skills” and leaving it to them to connect the dots and find a place for me, I have found it so much more impactful to be able to go in saying “here’s my business idea and the product I’ve built around it, here are the reasons it works for your audience and advertisers,” etc. An understanding of business takes the conversation from “These are my skills” to “This is my product and here’s how it adds value to your organization.”
Chase: Similarly, I would say find ways to do the work that others are not willing to do. Lean into hard problems and become a go-to resource for the things that keep your peers and bosses up at night. Tuck Bridge was a great way to learn skills and frameworks to break down complex businesses into manageable pieces that you can focus on and improve.
What’s a form of self-care you practice or something you do to practice wellness in your everyday life? How do you stay motivated?
Jackie: We have a baby and a toddler, so we both laughed out loud at this question. Free time is at a premium for us these days, but we do try to prioritize wellness—and fun (which I think is a big part of wellness!). Doing things I love keeps me motivated. We love cooking and working out. We do Peloton. We designed a yoga studio and a black box movie theater in our house, so on the rare occasion that our two tiny bosses give us time off, that’s where we go to unplug.
Chase: For both self-care and to solve challenging work problems, I’ve always found great value in physical exercise—whether that is triathlons, hiking, biking, skiing or rock climbing. The change in physical environment and elevated heart rate do a great job of resetting and grounding me. On the motivation front, I am grateful to work for a brand that brings joy to people—a quick walk around the stadium on gameday and seeing a bunch of smiling faces is a strong motivator to do good work. And it goes without saying, but trying to do my best to provide for our family is the biggest motivator!