University gives students space to work ‘remotely’

Students can work for businesses from the ECSU campus.

While Elsa Nuñez knows American businesses will continue to outsource jobs, she doesn’t see why those jobs necessarily have to go overseas.

Why not send them to Willimantic?

“My goal is to get companies to outsource to me, not to India,” the Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) president said Thursday.

That’s part of the thinking behind the “Work Hub,” which opened this semester on the school’s campus in Windham’s downtown Willimantic section.

The hub, housed in Winthrop Hall, offers workspace for student interns who can work remotely for businesses and other organizations.

For the program’s initial run, the university has partnered with Cigna, which has hired 12 Eastern students to work on a number of web development and other information technology projects for the Bloomfield-based financial services giant.

Thomas Boisjolie, a recruiting manager for Cigna’s Technology Early Career Development Program, said that the partnership with Eastern is going well and that he’s confident the company picked the right group of candidates.

He added that while Cigna’s development program isn’t new, the partnership with ECSU is.

He said Cigna benefits from its development program in that it reaches out to quality students early in their careers and gives the company to chance to develop them and bring them on board once they graduate.

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