The Krembil Effect
Most people wouldn’t leave a lucrative job to go back to school. But Cristina Ion isn’t most people. When the 31-year-old York University student felt she could do more with her career, she thought of the possibility of pursuing a master of business administration (MBA) program part time so she could continue working on the side to finance her education.
Things didn’t pan out exactly like that. With impressive academic, professional, and volunteer experiences, Ion is one of three 2014–2015 Robert Krembil Scholarship of Merit recipients. Each receives full tuition (about $34,500) plus a $5,000 living subsidy funded by the Krembil Foundation. The scholarship is renewable and enables students like Ion to quit her job as a clinical pharmacist and enroll in York’s Schulich School of Business full time.
“This scholarship was an unexpected, yet very welcome surprise,” she says. “It has allowed me to have the full MBA experience, thus enriching my learning opportunities and the connections I make with my peers and alumni. Another side effect of this scholarship is gaining the courage and confidence in my abilities to be successful in my future career aspirations in health-care management.”
Since philanthropist Robert Krembil (MBA ’71, Hon. LLD ’00) began investing in student scholarships in his alma mater in 2001, more than 100 Krembil Scholars have benefited from his visionary support that radically altered the landscape for financial aid support at the Schulich school. Recently, the Krembil Foundation made a new commitment of more than $1.3 million to renew its support of the scholars. In addition, the Foundation donated $120,000 to establish the Krembil Internship program in the public health-care sector and the Krembil Invitational Lecture Series. Ion was one of two inaugural Krembil interns at the University Health Network.
“Thanks to the Krembil scholarship, which has enabled me to pursue a slew of activities at school, I jumped at the chance to do the internship,” she says. “The exposure was fantastic. It allowed me to apply my previous skills and experience as a pharmacist and to interact with hospital leaders at the forefront of system change. It allowed me to contribute in a meaningful way.”
Now in her second and final year of the MBA program, “I see how far I’ve come in the past year and I’m excited to see how far the MBA will take me after I graduate,” Ion says.