OIT Icons: Impactful Women Advancing VA’s Mission showcases the talent and dedication of our diverse workforce.
Huda Terraz, Executive Assistant, End User Operations, Development, Security, and Operations
Huda Terraz joined VA in 2012 and joined OIT in January 2019. She received her Bachelor of Science in Vascular Technology from Rush University, has a Master’s in health care administration, and is a Registered Vascular Technologist. Ms. Terraz also attended VA’s Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program, targeted for future leaders in the Veterans Health Administration. Ms. Terraz provided support to the Medical Center Director in San Antonio and served as Administrator for Nursing and Medicine. In her current role, Ms. Terraz is the Executive Assistant for the Executive Director of End User Operations (EUO). She is responsible for executing EUO initiatives and projects. More recently, Ms. Terraz liaised with the OIT Front Office to coordinate a 50+ site tour for the former OIT Chief Information Officer.
Q: Why is Women’s History Month important?
Throughout history, countless women have made an impact in their communities, the nation, and the world. Highlighting the contributions of those women to events in history and society is essential. Despite progress, women continue to bear a heavier burden when it comes to balancing work and family. They often must overcome assumptions about their capabilities and actions due to their gender. Women’s History Month celebrates the vital roles women play in organizations and society by bringing awareness to the important work women do and the barriers that exist to achieving gender equality. In short, Women’s History Month is about empowerment.
Q: How do women in OIT make an impact on Veterans’ lives?
While everyone in OIT makes an impact on Veterans’ lives, women play key roles. I believe women can connect to the mission of our organization by drawing a link between serving those who fought to protect our nation’s freedoms and women fighting to protect our individual freedoms. The work of women in OIT is essential, whether it involves handling a ticket or engaging in a project for a new initiative. Incorporating women’s leadership, insight, and perspectives in OIT products and services drives innovation and impacts Veteran lives.
Q: How or why does VA’s mission — “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” — resonate with you?
I am not a Veteran myself and no one in my family is a Veteran. As a result, when I first started with VA, I struggled. One of the questions I asked as a trainee was, “How do I work for VA when I’ve never been a Veteran?” I have found answers to that question throughout my career. I love my country and my father was an immigrant. I understand that this country is great because of those who have come before and those who have “borne the battle” for the freedoms we enjoy every day. I do not have to serve on the front line to defend America’s freedom. By serving Veterans I am part of the ongoing battle to secure freedom for our nation.
Q: What is your mantra for success?
My mantra for success is “Be bold—you can do it.” For me, as a working mother of three children, I often doubt that I can do it all. It feels crazy busy and I cannot figure out how to make that look easy! But time and again, I look back at the things I have accomplished, and I am in awe that I was able to do it. This constantly reminds me to be bold and keep going because great things never come from staying in our comfort zones. I did not come this far to only come this far!
Q: What advice would you give women entering the tech field? Is there anything you wish you’d known?
I wish I had known that the tech field is not just about computers. It is bigger than the technical aspect of IT. There are many moving parts: management, people, business relationships, and much more beyond scripts or code writing. I wish I had known that IT is like any other industry. It is about people, relationships, and ensuring the right people have the right tools to execute successfully.
The advice I would give women entering the IT field would be to think of IT on a broader scale. Again, it is about people, and women bring so many people and relationship skills to everything we do, including the workplace. It is important to understand how OIT women contribute to our business partners’ success. Women bring a well-rounded perspective. We come from diverse backgrounds and traditionally have not been on an equal playing field. This gives us a different and powerful perspective. The advice I would give women entering the tech field is just do it! You will not be disappointed. The opportunities are endless, and it’s not just all about technology; it’s about the PEOPLE.
Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.