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Executive Woman in Tech, Thanh Hua, Shares Her Career Journey

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Thanh Hua is the Vice President of Delivery – Technology at iSoftStone North America. She worked 15 years for Microsoft in various divisions including HRIT, MSIT, Home Advisor, Web TV, and Tablet PC. She was an entrepreneur for five years before joining iSoftStone where she has hung her hat for four years. At iSoftStone, Thanh is VP of Delivery for the company’s Technology practice.

Her in words:

‘Be passionate. Be heard. Be the difference.’ This is the foundation of iSoftStone’s culture and it summarizes well my approach to work and play. I believe in iSoftStone’s goal of creating solutions and services. My passion directly aligns. This makes it easy to come to work motivated, wearing my innovative hat, and ready to make an impact on a daily basis. The approach of being passionate about what I do and working hard to make the difference applies outside of the office as well. I’m getting older and life quality is very much dependent upon the health of my body. 18 nutrition, health and exercise books later, I feel confident that my body can put up with a lot more play time. I am looking forward to exploring more passions and making them happen!”

A Brief Overview of Thanh’s Journey

Thanh escaped from Saigon on the eve of one of the heaviest bombings of the Vietnam War. Her father was in the navy, found out about the attack and rushed his family to escape. They landed in Anacortes, Wash. with only the clothes on their back and were sponsored by a local church.

Growing up, money was a huge priority. Each of her parents worked three jobs. It was important to her parents that she pursue a career where she could make money.

She studied Computer Science and Business Administration on the University of Washington and Western Washington University. While in school, she headed a computer lab and eventually landed a collegiate internship at Microsoft.

Thanh was with Microsoft for 15 years and loved it. She took a break to pursue a passion for culinary art and then reentered the technology sector at iSoftStone in 2010

Her challenges:

  • “Fitting in was difficult for me. This was a common theme throughout my early life. When I landed in the U.S. from Vietnam, I chose to let go of my Vietnamese culture and language to try to fit in with the other kids at school. When I started at Microsoft, I had a hard time fitting in. I mostly worked with men and it felt like everyone had such a passion for computers and I didn’t feel as passionately at first. Luckily, I found a group of women at Microsoft who built their own support community at work and in outside life. From this support network, I grew a strong passion for my career in computers and technology.”
  • “I never felt smart enough. There were women on the business side but everyone I worked with in IT was men. At the time I felt like they more naturally grasped the technologies, whereas I had to work to understand, which wasn’t necessarily true. But, I just worked harder to pick up on the knowledge. Because of this, I built better communication skills because I had to work well with others to gain from their knowledge and share my own learnings along the way. I learned to speak my mind.”

Her advice to young women pursuing STEM careers:

  • “Work hard, and be passionate about what you do. I’ve found that through passion and hard work, you are setting yourself up to be around the right people and right support system. Everything comes out of that. Be true to yourself, don’t be shy, and you will make a difference. It will just come.”

About iSoftStone North America

iSoftStone North America is a technology consulting firm partnering with its clients to create innovative solutions that improve business performance and provide a sustainable, competitive advantage. Backed by proven processes, innovation, and a strong track record with companies that range from emerging startups to Fortune 100 companies, the company navigates clients through today’s challenges while helping them build for the future. iSoftStone North America’s employees work across offices in Seattle, Boston, New York, and Toronto, and a delivery center in Boise. Internationally, the iSoftStone network includes 22 offshore delivery centers across China and over 18,000 employees.

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