If Vik Milan, 26 years old, a graduate of the Boston University school of management, got the chance to self-publish his first novel, Equestrian Under the Influence, that’s because his life is, of course, a novel ! Vik milan has lived and worked in Paris, and now Shanghai. He has traveled to over 30 countries and is a regular contributor on Linkedin pulse, writing content catered towards young professionals. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and is studying Chinese-language in addition to his luxury brand management MBA at IFA Paris. Interview.
IFA Paris: Hi Vik, congratulations for publishing your first novel !
Vik Milan: Thank you !
IFA Paris: Equestrian under the influence, that’s a really nice title ! How did it come to your mind ?
Vik Milan: Well, the title is meant to be light-hearted, as is the writing. These aren’t stories about “finding yourself,” but rather memorable experiences I’ve had in different countries that I thought would be entertaining to re-tell. The title Equestrian Under the Influence comes from one of my favorite chapters, which is about playing polo in Argentina after drinking an inappropriate amount of wine. Experiences like that are a good representation of what you can expect from the book, along with some “closer looks” at the travel industry that I hope other frequent travelers can relate to.
IFA Paris: When did you write your novel and how long did it take you ?
Vik Milan: I wrote Equestrian Under the Influence in just over a year while sitting in airports, during long flights, in random coffee shops, and over many late nights in various countries. Actually, I wanted to write the opposite of a serious novel travel ! Long form of creative writing was a challenge, and working on this book was a great learning experience in trying to find my narrative voice.
IFA Paris: For sure, the readers will get to know you better after reading your book. But in advance, can you tell us more about you ?
Vik Milan: I’m originally from the United States – I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania then moved to Boston for college. My parents came to the United States from India, and I had the opportunity to travel to India every few years as a child and teenager – it was great, having that kind of exposure to other cultures and travel at a young age. It certainly made an impression on me and pushed me to travel even more. Fortunately, my parents and brother also loved to travel, so we began to visit more and more countries and cities.
« All these experiences, the desire to explore, living out of a suitcase, moving around the world, led me to IFA Paris… »
An interest in learning about new places and new people has always influenced me and shaped my decision-making. When I was at Boston University, I spent one semester studying and working in Spain – I wanted to get the experience of actually living abroad for a period of time. I liked it so much and found my time in Madrid to be an exciting challenge, that while in my first job after college, I was able to pursue two international assignments – one year working in Mexico City, and about seven months in Buenos Aires.
All these experiences, the desire to explore, this lifestyle, living out of a suitcase, moving around the world, led me to IFA Paris… French and Chinese culture always fascinated me, and the IFA Paris MBA offered a great way to transition from my career in the pharmaceutical industry to pursuing my interest in luxury goods and menswear, all while experiencing life in Paris and Shanghai. I had been to the two cities growing up, but I knew living in these cities would be a new experience entirely, not to mention a great way to improve my French and Mandarin and meet some great people along the way.
IFA Paris: You’re performing right now, until December, an MBA at IFA Paris. When you finish your studies, do you plan to go back on the road again, to continue traveling and writing the tome 2 ?
Vik Milan: Well to be honest, I’m still deciding what the next step will be.
I wish I had a better answer ! I can say that IFA has helped me to get great exposure to branding, marketing and the luxury industry. I am interested in both menswear and fine arts, and look forward to exploring opportunities as I get to the end of the MBA program. Writing is a hobby of mine, but not necessarily my professional focus. I’m working on a second book, while also planning my own second step. After moving around so much in the past few years, I have a feeling part two will take place back in the USA.
For more details: www.vikmilan.com