I am an intern here at Mata Traders for the summer and despite the cold weather drifting in, this summer has been great! I started here at the beginning of June and have loved it so much. As a college student finding what to do over the summer is always a daunting task. This year I was torn between if I should find a summer job and work to save up for studying abroad or if I should find an internship to continue pursuing what I love. Somehow I must’ve run into a bit of luck because I found two opportunities that allowed me to do both! When I am not here interning at Mata Traders, I am at a hidden gem: The Chicago Botanic Gardens.

That’s me in an official capacity

Already familiar with this breathtaking spot on Chicago’s North Shore, I was thrilled to get the job as the Summer Events Coordinator. The 9 islands, 26 different gardens, and 385 acres of land in this park are host to public events on a daily basis – and it’s my job to make them happen! I am working on a number of flower shows which take place almost every weekend (bonsai, orchard, ikebana, and more), as well as a farmers market on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. I also coordinate the summer concert series. Monday through Thursday there are free concerts everyday, each with a different flavor.

The Carillon Tower located on Evening Island of the Chicago Botanic Gardens

Monday nights are host to our Carillon Concerts featuring carillonneurs from all around the world. In case you’re not familiar with what a carillon is (I know I wasn’t), it’s essentially a bell tower that is played somewhat like a piano or organ. Think church bells meet classical music. The garden is home to one of these rare instruments.

Entering onto the Esplanade

Tuesday nights is Music on the Esplanade. Spread out a picnic on this idyllic lawn overlooking a lake and listen to a wide range of music from soft rock to blues to Brazilian jazz.

Wednesday is for the kids so pack a dinner, bring your little ones, and get ready for a night of fun. The music is interactive and often educational, too!

Bollywood dance lessons at Hot Summer Nights

Thursdays are for those who love to dance and those who are interested in learning. So get ready for Hot Summer Nights of swing, salsa, flamenco, and more!

Found a butterfly while doing the rounds

This has been such an exciting summer spending my days learning more about fair trade and marketing, while spending my evenings at the picturesque botanic gardens.

You can check out the full schedule here as well as additional information. Come by to say hi! I’ll be the girl in Mata!