Sep 19, 2022
Sinikka Waugh and Damir Cavkusic discuss 5 Ways to Impact Through Inclusivity.
My name is Damir Cavkusic, and I am a product engineer with John Deere in Waterloo, Iowa. I was born in the former Yugoslavia (currently Croatia) and came to the United States as a young child in 1997 as a refugee to escape the war and turmoil in the Balkans. Starting life over with next to nothing, I grew up as an only child in a single-parent household in Fargo, North Dakota. I had a magnificent role model in my mother, who worked multiple jobs to support us and achieved a master’s degree in business. This all while raising me on her own and instilling her work ethic and perseverance even against great odds. I went to school at North Dakota State University where I majored in Industrial Engineering and Management and had my first foray into involvement and learning the value of working with diverse people and projects. After graduating, I worked as an engineer in North Dakota and later moved to Iowa in 2017 to work for John Deere. Today as a Naturalized American Citizen, I feel comfortable stating that I have achieved the true American Dream. Although everything was earned, I live every day feeling very fortunate to be where I am in life. Through my engineering career, I have been able to obtain multiple US Patents, I am currently pursuing my MBA through the University of North Dakota, I am involved in my community, and I proudly serve as an ally of diversity and empowering voices at work and feel very grateful to work for a company as exceptional as John Deere. Things I like to do in my personal time include traveling and road trips, exploring nature, finding interesting places to eat, keeping up with science and tech news, working on my cars, and attending car shows and sports events.