How the Flexible MBA program helped pave the way for Megan Thorp
Megan Thorp describes herself as a holistic thinker with a healthy dose of diplomacy. And as an undergraduate, Thorp wanted to become a police officer.
“I loved the idea of connecting with the community and positively impacting lives,” she said.
But after graduation, she decided that law enforcement was not the right career fit for her and pivoted to selling insurance for New York Life to expand her relationship-building skills.
Soon after, she switched roles within finance and became interested in business operations. With a few years of running administrative operations for a financial advisor in Ohio under her belt, she realized she aspired to do more with her career and moved to Baltimore.
“I felt like I was maxing out in my role and needed more on my resume to open professional doors. I wanted to challenge myself, so I explored the option of an MBA, which in my mind was a door-opener for advancing my career without committing to one specific industry or organizational role,” she said.
While Thorp’s career path may seem nontraditional, it’s no secret her passion for helping others ultimately supported her in becoming chief operating officer and co-founder of Hcare Health, PBC; an AI-driven health recovery solution for people receiving care after hospital discharge.
A long-distance connection
While living in Baltimore, Thorp says she fell in love with the city.
“The city itself has an overwhelming sense of community that has always resonated with me,” said Thorp.
With the thought of challenging herself still top of mind, she took a position as a marketing associate working on an initiative that supported educating women on their financial futures. But just months after starting her new role, Thorp received news she would be moving to northern California.
“That was really the pivotal point in my decision to pursue an MBA because it was a new beginning. I knew I wanted a part-time program that provided a quality education and strong student, alumni, and staff connections. And I kept coming back to Baltimore and the connections I felt there. Johns Hopkins was the obvious choice given its historic reputation for innovation, so I applied and was accepted to the Flexible MBA program,” she said.
The company Thorp was with at the start of the program allowed her to work fully remote in California while simultaneously studying to get a Series 65 credential and begin the part-time MBA program.
“I didn’t have to put my career on hold. Everyone in the part-time program had full-time obligations and were looking to advance their existing careers. This was significant because their focus and contributions in our interactions felt more aligned with where I was in my life,” Thorp said.
Satisfied with the flexibility of the program, Thorp says she was also able to apply the coursework directly back to her professional life.
“It was freakishly parallel,” she said. “Solving a problem for the course but then realizing I could apply it to my work; that cross functional application helped solidify the understanding of my education. I highly recommend for anyone who is a practical learner to engage in this type of educational opportunity.”
Humanizing the health care experience
While health care was not a primary focus, Thorp says she was open to opportunities that allowed her to dive deeper into understanding people and influencing positive behavior.
“Roger, Hcare CEO and founder, called me one day during the pandemic and asked if I wanted to collaborate on a new venture. Once we got to talking, it was obvious that this new health care venture was unlike anything I had ever heard of or contributed to in terms of impact to communities,” said Thorp. “Which is why I intuitively knew I needed to make the leap.”
Hcare Health is bridging the gaps between the person receiving care and physicians through an AI engine. The engine identifies the unique behavioral traits of each person and customizes a communication workflow to keep them engaged in managing their health after hospital discharge.
“We’ve taken proven clinical models, medical research, and monitoring solutions, and pieced these elements together in a way that no one has done before. Hcare delivers a person-first solution that focuses on meeting people receiving care where they are on their life journey and providing them with their preferred support to achieve sustainable health outcomes,” she said.
With an AI engine that has been understanding human behavior for over six years, Hcare humanizes the transition from hospital to home. Hcare also offers a blockchain-based security solution that supports people receiving care to ensure all medical data is accessible in one decentralized location.
“We’re able to better understand the individual as a person, rather than just a patient. This allows us to create more agency for that person with personalized communication from our system as well as their supporting care team,” she said.
Leading the way
As chief operating officer, Thorp oversees all administrative, development, marketing, and all other internal operational aspects of the business to ensure they are fully functioning with cohesion amongst the teams. And the courses she took at Carey Business School helped prepare her for this new role.
“Part of my role at Hcare is addressing interpersonal activities. In particular, learning to decipher between someone’s ‘intention’ and the actual ‘impact’ on the group,” Thorp says. “Because we are a startup, we often require intense discussions for building frameworks. Being able to rely on my learnings from Carey’s leadership courses has significantly accelerated my ability to successfully manage team interactions.”
With the various aspects of running a business and leading a senior team of diverse minds, she credits Carey for exposure to the deep practical and theoretical lessons of business, and the continued support from Carey professors to this day.
“Even though I’m not a certified expert in every aspect of business, I feel confident that I have the knowledge from Carey to lead my team and provide untapped insights to solve problems and avoid pitfalls. And as an added layer of confidence, I know if I ever need a second opinion, I can reach out to a Carey professor or a professional in the alumni network.”