The Vermont Connection


The purpose of this paper is to understand the importance of mentoring in the field of student affairs in order to help potential and emerging professionals in various ways. Mentoring has strong implications for the proliferation of the field as well as the resilience of emerging professionals and the reduction of professional attrition. In constructing this narrative, the author chose to use two approaches. First, the author created a scholarly personal narrative to understand the effects of mentorship as is reflected in scholarship. Second, through the collection of letters, the author designed a qualitative content analysis to understand how mentors have helped current professionals gain insight, confidence, and direction. Key themes identified in the analysis are the modeling of professional behaviors and success, belief, empowerment and validation, challenge and support, and identity development.