Matthew Tarka knew his first year as a finance major at Xavier would be a challenge. But when an opportunity came up to enter an international stock portfolio challenge, he thought, why not?

And in a twist that’s typical of the Xavier experience, this story begins not in a classroom but during Club Day on the Yard.

More than 160 clubs and organizations vie for new members, especially first-year students, including Xavier’s student-run Financial Management Association. The club invited him to join their organization and take part in the ETF Global Portfolio Challenge—a web-based simulated investment challenge competition. He’d only had one business class by then—accounting. BUT for Tarka, finance had always been fun. It runs in the family.

“Some of my first memories were my dad showing me how the stock market works and different charting programs he had. And it was cool,” Tarka says.

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