SAN FRANCISCO EDITION The Unauthorized Guide

The Unauthorized Guide
Welcome to Oliver Wyman!
Congratulations! The interviews are over, contracts are signed (sign-on bonuses
deposited), and you can now sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself – kind of. As former new
hires, we all know how stressful it can be to start a new job and move to a new city. So
we’ve tried to take a little bit of that edge off for you in assembling this Unauthorized
Guide for Consultants. This version has been newly updated and revised for 2010, so
rest assured that you have the latest info on where to eat, drink, and play!
In this guide, you will find three sections: Moving to San Francisco, Working at Oliver
Wyman, and Living in San Francisco. We’ve tried to address some of the basic
categories of questions that we all had prior to working at Oliver Wyman like:
Where should I live?
What should I wear my first day?
Do I really have to read all those books they sent me?
What is this beach time I keep hearing about? (hint: it involves no
swimsuits or sunscreen)
- I’m freaking out about the real world and badly need a cocktail, where
should I go?
Hopefully this guide will address some of your main concerns, but there will obviously be
unanswered questions. Go ahead and reach out to contacts you’ve made through the
recruiting process, or ask someone in recruiting to put you in touch with someone to get
those questions answered. Above all, RELAX. Yes it’s scary, yes there are a lot of
unknowns, but we all survived one way or another and you will too!
Congratulations again. We can’t wait to have you join the Oliver Wyman family!
- Oliver Wyman Consultants Past & Present
© Oliver Wyman 
The Unauthorized Guide
I. Moving to San Francisco
Moving to San Francisco
The San Francisco Bay Area is a great place to call home. The City is made up of many
different neighborhoods, each with its own character. In this guide, we’ve tried to give you
some insight into some of the more popular neighborhoods among the General Consulting
Group (GCG - non-partner consultants), along with the advantages and disadvantages to
whatever real estate decision you make.
- Oliver Wyman Office
Comparison of San Francisco Neighborhoods
Above all, remember that things like rent and crime rate can vary widely even within a neighborhood, so
remember to check out crime stats and info for the particular block you’re looking at!
Commute to Office
Marina/Cow Hollow
15-30 min by Muni
Russian Hill
15-20 min by Muni
Pacific Heights
15-25 min by Muni
SOMA/South Beach
10-15 min by Muni
North Beach/Telegraph Hill
10-15 min by Muni
15 min by BART
Castro/Noe Valley
25-30 min by BART
East Bay
30+ min by BART
Where Current GCG Live
Russian Hill
The Scene: Young, hip professionals who like the ocean view, classy
digs, and proximity to other young professionals. Walk around on
Saturday nights and you’ll feel as if you’re back in college.
Pros: Great restaurants and nightlife, shopping on Union and Chestnut
streets, practically on top of the ocean.
Cons: Expensive; a 24-hour frat party may not be your thing.
Good to know: The Marina singles scene is both renowned and reviled.
The Matrix is legendary, as is the neighborhood Safeway.
The Scene: It’s next to everything, which gives it a diverse feel: The
office and downtown, Little Italy, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s
also ground zero for tourists. Expect “cute” housing on tree-lined streets,
that gets steadily more expensive as you go further up the hill.
Pros: Neighborhood feel with many restaurants, safe, close to
Cons: Touristy, pricey, parking is difficult. Older housing.
Good to Know: Home to the bygone Beat Generation. Also, the main
street, Broadway, hosts most of the city’s prominent strip clubs.
The Scene: Cute boutiques, lots of cafes, and charming streets make
it reminiscent of an European city. Neighborhood feel, assuming your
ideal neighbors are other young, well-dressed professionals (possibly
with dog).
Pros: Tons to do, atmospheric and very safe neighborhood.
Cons: Pricey, older housing. Unless you live on Polk, be prepared to
walk at least one major hill to get anywhere.
Good to Know: The main thoroughfare, Polk Street, is a popular strip
with great nightlife. The surrounding streets are home to several toprated restaurants.
The Scene: Stately townhouses; young (and old) professionals living
with multiple roommates in one large house; millionaires.
Pros: Quintessential San Francisco charm with a mix of residential
and commercial areas, very safe and upscale neighborhood.
Cons: Pricey, much less of a “young” feel than the Marina or
Russian Hill.
Good to Know: This is the neighborhood where all those movies set
in San Francisco are filmed.
The Scene: Shiny high-rise towers with sleek modern condos and
concierge desks, home to sophisticated older professionals and techies
who work in the South Bay.
Pros: Newest and nicest housing in SF, lots of amenities, easy access
to freeway. Killer views of the Bay.
Cons: Expensive, area still under development. Your building is more
likely to be next to an empty lot than a cute corner café.
Good to Know: Part of SF that most resembles NYC.. for better or
The Scene: More run down than other areas and featuring bombed out
tenements and the like, 6th and Market also has the highest murder rate
in all of SF. However, some of the best nightlife in the city is also located
Pros: Dirt cheap housing
Cons: You get what you pay for, and possibly more (like potentially
getting mugged).
Good to Know: Maybe best to party here, then cab it home elsewhere.
The Scene: The Mission is currently in mid- to late-stage hipster
gentrification. A slew of great restaurants, cafes, and bars abound, but
walk a few blocks and you’ll still find cheap ethnic food, a lively street
scene, and high crime rates.
Pros: Cheaper, lively, easy BART access. Home to around 80% of the
coolest restaurants and nightlife in the city.
Cons: Safety more of a concern in some parts
Good to Know: Don’t miss Tartine Bakery and Bi-Rite Creamery. If you
need an escape from all the plaid, sit in Dolores Park and people-watch.
The Scene: Residential area full of row houses and a good mix of cafes
and restaurants, home to many young families.
Pros: Easy parking, quiet, nice cafes and restaurants, safe.
Cons: More family-oriented, further from the city center.
Good to Know: Noe Valley is close to the great nightlife of the Castro &
Mission districts, but has a very quiet residential feel.
The Scene: Mirror image of Richmond, except it’s south of Golden Gate
Park. Close to UCSF, so a lot of med students live here.
The Scene: Residential, laid-back feel, with a lot of immigrant families.
Just a few bus stops away from the only real beaches in the city.
Pros: Cheaper, great ethnic restaurants, hip Clement Street. Located
between the Presidio and Golden Gate Park, which are both beautiful
natural spots.
Cons: Far out from the city center and nightlife, foggy!
Good to Know: The very outer tip of Richmond is an exclusive community
called Sea Cliff, where people like Robin Williams and Danielle Steele live.
Pros: Cheaper, easy parking, quiet, neighborhood feel.
Cons: Far out from the city center and nightlife, foggy!
Good to Know: The same quiet feel and large houses that attract young
immigrant families in Richmond also exists here.
The Scene: Major centers include Berkeley and Oakland. Both have a
diverse feel and are less urban than SF city. Berkeley, obviously, has a
huge student population, although few are hippies nowadays. Farther out
you’ll find quiet suburbs.
Pros: Cheaper, easy commute on BART, eclectic shopping and some
really famous restaurants.
Cons: Less nightlife, you likely need a car.
Good to Know: Birthplace of MC Hammer, Oakland has also been
dubbed the “murder capital of the US.” Just be careful which part you live
in – Jack London Square, Rockridge & Merritt are good bets.
The Scene: Encompassing many towns south of The City, major ones
include Palo Alto and San Jose. A lot of beautiful suburbs where families and
tech CEOs live.
Pros: Residential, access to the city via BART and Caltrain.
Cons: Long commute and Caltrain runs infrequently. Few activities on the
weekend and you’ll need a car to get anywhere.
Good to Know: This is where the headquarters of all the major tech
companies are: Google, Apple, Yahoo!, HP, Intel, Cisco, eBay
The Apartment Hunt
– Craigslist ( This is by far the main apartment-hunting method in San
Francisco. In fact, we can’t even imagine finding an apartment by another method. What did
people do before Craigslist? (Tip: one GCG’s apartment is furnished almost exclusively with
furniture she found for free on Craigslist. And it looks pretty damn good.)
– Networking: If you can manage it, one of the best ways to find an apartment is through friends,
classmates, relatives, coworkers, religious groups, etc. Try emailing your dorm or other college
lists now to find people who know alumni living in that area, who may prefer to live with other
alumni from your school.
– On foot: Walking around the area you’d like to live in is good for getting the feel of a
neighborhood, but unlikely to be fruitful in terms of actually finding a place to live.
– Start looking for areas to live in a month or two before the date you’d like to move in. For hires
starting in September, you’re competing with students, so start looking in the summer.
– Act fast – especially for a September 1st lease; if you wait, the apartment will be taken.
– Prepare a landlord-ready packet: Bring copies of your offer letter, references, credit report, bank
statement, and previous address history. Above all, landlords want someone who will take good
care of the apartment and pay rent on time, so remember to emphasize your responsibility and
steady employment.
Questions to Consider
Affordable - Is the rent affordable? Are the stores, shops, gyms, movie theaters and bars in the area
affordable? (No matter what they say ahead of time, most people spend their money in nearby
establishments – i.e. higher rent in a nicer area adds up in many ways.)
Management Company – Does the building appear to be well maintained? What do neighbors say
about how long it takes to get something fixed? Are they helpful/responsive to your questions?
Transportation – How close is the BART, MUNI train or bus?
Conveniences –Is there a washer/dryer in the building? Is a supermarket or laundromat nearby?
Parking – What’s the parking situation? If parking isn't included, is street parking available?
Utilities – Who pays for utilities? How are they powered? Gas is cheaper than electric; oil fluctuates
along with OPEC. What is the average winter utility bill for the unit? Who controls your heat?
Neighbors – Does your building rent to students? Are there families with small children in the
building? What’s the general noise level during the day and at night?
Crime – What is the crime rate like? Call the local police office to double check, as your landlord
could be less than honest on this one. Brokers are legally not allowed to comment on the safety of a
neighborhood. Ask residents or passers-by if they feel safe there.
The Unauthorized Guide
II. Working at Oliver Wyman
Those First Day Jitters…
 First Day:
– You will receive an email 1-2 weeks before starting that lays out your initial schedule, so
don’t worry if it’s a few weeks away and you haven’t heard anything. It will come!
– Where Will I Be?
- You will be in your home office for the first day regardless of whether your are a
summer or full-time consultant. The remainder of that week you may head to a
different office for 1 or 2 weeks for Toolkit training and social events.
– What Do I Bring?
- Just yourself and the identification materials needed for some paperwork, along with
any paperwork you didn’t mail in.
 What Do You Need:
– Will Need:
- Luggage - A small rolling suitcase that fits into the airline overhead compartments is
the main piece of luggage you’ll need. If you go on longer assignments, you may need
something bigger, but a good small suitcase is a worthwhile investment. You will use
it! Good brands are: Travelpro, Briggs & Riley, and Tumi. (Be sure to check airline
websites for overhead compartment dimensions.)
- Cell Phone – you will need to provide your own cell phone and pay for your own cell
phone bill. If you use your phone a lot for casework, there is a way to expense the
fraction of your minutes, but that will be case specific.
– Won’t Need/Will be provided:
- Laptop
- Laptop case – you’ll end up having more than you’ll know what to do with.
- Blackberry
- Wireless Card – free internet anywhere – it’s pretty great.
- Office supplies
 Pre-Arrival Work:
– Training & Development: We have provided some training & development materials for
you to work through before you start at OW. These courses are available on the New Hire
Portal. They will be particularly helpful to those with less experience in Finance &
Accounting or Microsoft Excel; however, we strongly encourage everyone to review these
materials. We will spend more time on these topics once you start work, but this should
give you a great start.
– Recommended Reading: In addition, you should review Oliver Wyman intellectual
capital through the publications listed on our recommended reading list. You will not be
quizzed on the material, but it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the topics and
industry jargon you will be hearing.
The Oliver Wyman office is business casual and most clients are business casual as
well. Day One should give you a pretty good feel for the general dress code of the
office. Look to other GCG and base your decisions on what you observe.
 Business Casual – In general both men and women tend to stick to some
combination of the following for business casual:
– Dress pants/skirts
– Button-down shirt/ blouse
– Sweater, twin set
 Suits – We follow the dress code of the client, so if your client is business formal,
you’ll be expected to wear the same (always a good thing to ask before starting a
case). Nevertheless, this is definitely rare and the number of suits you have already
from recruiting is probably enough.
 Jeans Friday – On Fridays that don’t involve a recruiting event (they’ll be very clear
when those days are), you’re allowed to wear jeans. You’re still expected to look neat
(no flip flops and t-shirts, and no ripped jeans – even if you overpaid a designer to
fashionably tear them for you…). A collared shirt and/or sweater with jeans is
generally fine.
 In general, just use common sense. You don’t want to be noticed inappropriately for
something you’re wearing. Don’t be that new consultant!
Note: These are actual Oliver Wyman employees, not paid celebrities..
 Staffing can be one of the more stressful parts of your job, but the most important thing is to
RELAX. You will get staffed. It may not be your dream assignment, and you may not go
to your dream location right away, but be patient.
 Do well on your cases! The best way to have some say in your staffing assignments is to
make others want you on their team. Build a skill set and a good reputation, and the good
cases will come.
 That being said, do not lie or exaggerate your skill set – especially in the beginning.
Interviews are over and you’re already hired. It will only hurt you to say you’re an expert in
SQL if in reality you saw your lab partner work in it twice. Some of the worst experiences by
new consultants are when they claim to know more about a topic or software program than
they actually do. I.e. If you’ve never opened an Excel spreadsheet, tell staffing! You’ll be
much happier in the long run.
 On the other side, tell staffing what you’re good at and what skills you may have. If you
are a wiz in Excel, don’t hide that – it can definitely help you get staffed faster. Similarly, if
you are fluent in a language, make that known also (however, being able to ask where’s the
bathroom in Italian will not necessarily get you sent to Florence for a case – trust us, we’ve
 Be upfront about your concerns. You’ll probably be scared of most assignments when
you first arrive (we were), but if you’re particularly concerned about, say, a quant-heavy
case, interviewing, or a particular location (e.g. the Middle East) make that known. While
staffing can’t always accommodate your concerns, they can do the best they can to place
you in an environment where you feel as comfortable as possible.
 However, be flexible and willing! Staffing will like you a lot more with a “can do” attitude
rather than a long list of “no’s” and demands. And remember, many cases that don’t sound
as glamorous end up being the best experiences for their case team members, so don’t
blindly write-off assignments based on how they sound. Remember, every case is a
learning experience, good or bad.
 Fill out the staffing pages and bios as soon as possible (once you start working that is).
Skills & Preferences profile, PowerPoint bio, and uploaded resume all help staffing gain
better insight into your strengths and background. Especially in the beginning, this will
definitely help you get staffed faster.
 Be nice to the Staffing Team! Ann Laaff and Jen Thomas will ultimately decide what you
get staffed on, so being obnoxious and/or difficult will not help your cause. A lot of times
assignments are based on luck of your timing, such as when you roll-off another case, etc.
They try to make fairness a top priority. They know you are there and are pleased that
you’re willing and eager to get staffed, but be patient. That being said, an inside source
tipped us that Ann has a sweet tooth and loves baked goods and chocolate of any shape
or kind – not a bad way to lead into a casual conversation about your staffing situation –
come with gifts…
Beach Time
 The “beach” is the consulting term for unstaffed time between cases (sorry if you had higher
expectations for the term). It’s a great time to catch up on appointments, catch up on sleep,
and generally just catch up on life. But be aware that you are expected to be available to be
re-staffed at a moment’s notice.
 Different people approach the beach in different ways, especially depending on how long
you’ve been at the firm. Be mindful of what people tell you about how to act on the beach
because everyone’s situation is different.
 While you may spend very little time in your career on the beach (especially Summer
Interns), it is definitely the area where new hires have a lot of questions. Here are some
classic Do’s and Don’ts for your time on the beach:
 Enjoy yourself! – The beach is a great time to take it easy and de-stress. You’ll be looking
fondly back on that time once you get staffed on a busy case.
 Check in with Ann – It is good to occasionally check-in with Ann and make sure she knows
you’re available. Staffing contracts may change, so it’s good to make sure everyone’s on
the same page.
 Ask around and see what’s out there (both from Ann and other partners). You are expected
to be doing “things” while on the beach – helping out with proposals, firm initiatives, office
events, writing this guide, etc. A lot of staffing happens from working on a proposal that
eventually gets sold. And yes, you can learn from business development (biz dev) as well.
Just because nobody’s seeking you out, doesn’t mean you can’t be of use…
 Still ask for vacation time. Beach ≠ Vacation. If you’re leaving the immediate area, let Ann
know! But be careful – you may be staffed and need to get to a client site quickly – so don’t
go too far without your laptop.
 Use the time to contribute to the firm. Firm contribution is an important part of the Oliver
Wyman culture; people will notice!
 Not come into the office. Especially when you’re first starting, it’s important that people
know who you are and recognize your face (FMMs and TGIFs are key). This doesn’t mean
you need to work long hours, but even checking in for a few hours each day is valuable
(10am -4pm is a good benchmark if you have nothing to do). While everyone does a full
“work from home” day here and there especially after ending a hard case, be mindful of
completely falling off the planet.
 Neglect your email and voicemail. Keep your Blackberry with you. You never know when
you’ll get that infamous staffing email.
 Blow off your biz dev work. Even if it’s as short as a few days, you can get reviewed on this
work. Good and Bad. Initial reputations are often built outside of actual casework and
people talk.
Traveling & Expenses
Travel for case work can range from 4 days a week, every week to
completely office based depending on the assignment and needs of
the client. Company policy is to have everyone in his/her home office
on Fridays, except for long haul staffing overseas.
 BCD Travel – BCD Travel is an in-house travel agency that can be used for all business-related trips.
BCD travel profile - Can be completed online complete with credit card information, frequent traveler
numbers, and travel preferences (e.g. window or aisle) and they will use that every time you call
(booking a week’s worth of travel can take less than a minute).
Change of plans - The advantage to using BCD travel is that if you ever have a problem or need to
change plans after booking with them, they can help you do it instantly.
Service Fee - BCD charges a $10 fee for booking online and a $20 fee for booking by phone (this cost
can be expensed). It’s generally easier to book online, but it might be faster to call when you need to
make last-minute changes.
Non-Office Hours – BCD has a 24-hour number (1-866-895-8939) you can call outside of business
hours if you need to change plans. You will just need your record locator (on your itinerary) and your
Oliver Wyman employee ID.
 Reward Programs – Sign up for them!!! Points and miles add up, and all rewards earned you can use for
personal use. Continually check sites like for promotions for different point bonuses that
always take place. Also, make sure to keep these numbers in your profile, so they are actually used when
 Credit Card – Starwood Amex is definitely the credit card of choice amongst GCG, as most cases try to stay
in Starwood hotels. You can sign up for one on the Amex or Starwood Preferred Guest website
( While you will have the option of receiving and using a corporate credit card (just get one
even if you don’t use it), most people opt to use a personal credit card to receive the points. Tip: if you’re
given a low credit limit to start, you can usually just call and ask to have it raised.
 Expenses – Different managers have different ways they like to handle expenses, so the most important thing
is to ask. Better to clarify upfront than risk a problem later on.
Company policy for expenses can be found online, but generally, most things you purchase while
traveling can be expensed down to a simple cup of coffee.
Receipts are required for any purchase of $25 or more. Put them in a good place because losing them
will only make your life more difficult (if you do lose a receipt, there are ways to verify the purchase like
credit card statement, etc. so don’t freak out that you’ll have to pocket the expense).
Keep good track of your expenses and file them sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the more
of a headache it is for you and your Partner!
Holidays & Vacation
 Corporate Public Holidays
– 9 holidays and 2 personal days each year
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
President's Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving & Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day
 Vacation Time
– 15 vacation days a year (accrued at 1.25 days/month) – you’ll get more days once you’re here
longer (after 5 years is the next jump, so you have a little while…)
– Vacation accrual year begins January 1st and ends December 31st
– Maximum unused vacation carry-over is 5 days.
 Sick Days
– Full time salaried employees who begin employment before March 1 are eligible for up to 10 days of
paid illness for that calendar year.
– Up to one half of annual illness days may be taken to care for an ill family member.
 Most consultants don’t even know where to begin with benefits, so if you’re completely lost, you’re not
alone. You will receive a thorough presentation on your first day and in general have 30 days to
comprehend and decide on what plans work for you.
 If you want a head start, MMC People Link is a comprehensive website for all your benefits, payroll, etc.
 Your benefits will start on your first day of full-time employment, not the first of the month.
 You will receive the full range of benefits including medical, dental, vision, and many other types of
insurance you didn’t even realize existed. Different people have opinions on the different plans, so it
may be best to survey people in person once you get here. Keep in mind that you should select a plan
based upon what works best for YOUR situation and life style.
 Marsh & McLennan has a variety of other benefits for discount transportation, museum admissions, and
lift tickets. Definitely worth poking around the PeopleLink website – you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
 TRIP (WageWorks commuter card)
– Offers commuters tax savings: pay for mass transit passes ($110 max/month) or parking fees ($215
max/month) with before-tax dollars; state taxation may vary.
– Money for the transit pass or parking fee is deducted from month-end paycheck.
In case you haven’t figured out already, consultants like to use acronyms. Here are some
of the more common acronyms used at Oliver Wyman. Warning: Don’t get too comfortable
with this list, they’re constantly changing…
General Management Consulting
Financial Services
Business Unit
Communications, Media
& Technology
Health & Life Sciences
Manufacturing, Transportation
& Energy
Consumer & Industrial
Value Transformation
General Consulting Group
Affiliated Consultants
Partners and
Associate Partners
Other Acronyms / Useful Terms
Oliver Wyman Open Knowledge
(mailing list)
Ministry of Fun
Internal Research Center
Friday (Morning) Session
BD (Biz Dev)
Business Development
Information Services
And of course, who could forget POW!? “People of Oliver Wyman”
is our internal online community and face-book. Join POW! to access
local office and OW-wide updates, join employee groups and stay
connected with your fellow OW staffers.
The Pyramid
As you’re learning the names of our various Business Units and resources, you should
also familiarize yourself with the company hierarchy.
Each level plays a different role during a project, with Consultants, Senior Consultants
and Associates doing varying degrees of the analytics and research. As you become
more senior, you will also interact more with clients and be expected to contribute more
to thinking through and structuring various issues in the case rather than just executing.
(But you won’t have to worry about that for a little while!)
Your day-to-day work could be managed by almost anyone above you.
Sell cases; provide strategic
direction; serve as main client
Provide day-to-day
case and client
Senior Associates
Senior Consultants
Oliver Wyman Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Our culture is one that celebrates and promotes the many backgrounds, heritages and
perspectives of our colleagues. It is this culture of diversity and inclusion that helps us generate
new ideas and create solutions that best serve our client base, which itself is increasingly diverse.
— Corporate Diversity Statement
Oliver Wyman has a number of popular (and growing) Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These
cross-functional groups recognize and celebrate diversity & inclusion across OWG and are a great
way to get involved in the global OWG community!
Founded in 2008, GLOW supports OWG diversity and
inclusion initiatives and advocate for the unique needs of
the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender (GLBT)
To feel more accepted and connected to our organization, we are creating reverse mentoring
programs, affecting policies, enhancing communications and getting involved in business
development activities.
“If I’m not gay, can I join GLOW?”
YES - Over 35% of GLOW members are straight. Your contribution is essential to create an
inclusive environment for ALL employees of Oliver Wyman.
is active in the following areas:
- Community Engagement: Create an inclusive and
supportive environment for GLBT people at OWG.
Create networking, socializing and service work and
philanthropy opportunities.
- Cultural Transformation: Create a voice for GLBT
in OWG including mentoring programs, enhanced
communications and more inclusive policies.
- Business Development: Provide internal training to
aid building successful relationships with GLBT
clients, and explore GLBT networking and BD
- Recruiting: Support OWG recruiting to sell to GLBT
recruits, create more inclusive marketing materials and
maximize GLBT recruiting channels
To learn more or to join GLOW
[email protected] or
visit the group site on POW!
Larissa DeLima will help get you
Oliver Wyman ERGs continued…
WOW is a grass-roots, cross-OWG employee resource
and networking group focused on increasing our ability to
attract, develop, and retain highly talented women by
enhancing their access to professional development and
personal growth opportunities.
WOW is open to all Oliver Wyman Group staff (both men and women). It focuses on community
building, recruiting, business development & brand-building.
Accomplishments in 2010
• 250 new members
• Established chapters in most major global
• Numerous activities: Toronto & Singapore
Run for a Cure, Boston Leadership
development session
• Migrated groupsite to POW!
Goals for 2011
• Work with Women: collaborate across
OpCos (Mercer, Marsh, Guy Carpenter)
• Communicate: Be ‘voice’ of Women at
OWG through POW!
• Work for Women: Enhance career
development, act as a resource for
global/local management initiatives
To join WOW – email [email protected] or visit the group site on POW!
EMPOWERED is a grass-roots Employee Resource Group for racially and ethnically diverse
OWG employees and their allies.
Our Mission is to enrich Oliver Wyman Group, its core
values and culture, through inclusive initiatives that
foster communication, understanding and appreciation
of racial and ethnic diversity.
We pursue our vision in the following areas:
• Cultural Awareness: Create opportunities and develop strategies to advance cultural awareness
• Community Outreach: Involve local communities to support diversity related initiatives &
• Recruiting & Retention: Attract & develop top talent from a wide variety of cultures and
• Coaching & Mentoring: Help OWG staff understand and overcome challenges relating to racial,
cultural and ethnic diversity through mentorship and access to personal development resources
• Data & Messaging: Internal and external communication on efforts to enhance diversity at OWG
To join EMPOWERED please contact Brandi Greene ([email protected])
or Kaijia Gu ([email protected]) or visit the group site on POW!
Lunch at the Office
Given the amount of offices in the Financial District, there is no shortage of places to
grab lunch. You can pretty much find any lunch place just by walking out into the
street. In fact, the key is knowing where to go if you just happen to have a craving for
something specific.. See below for a handy guide on where to go, organized by
cuisine and/or situation.
 Quick and simple sandwich or salad
– Birley’s Sandwiches: Right downstairs in Four Embarcadero. Serves all kind of
gourmet sandwiches, from Cubanos to shrimp salad to your basic BLT with avocado.
They also have soup.
– Buckhorn Grill: Right next to Birley’s. They guarantee your order in 5 minutes or less,
which is useful when you have a conference call in ten minutes.
– Foccacia: Slightly further afield, but they have an amazing array of really good
pastries, as well as sandwiches made to order and some daily specials.
 Pan-Asian cuisine
– Out the Door: Located in the Ferry Building, this to-go offshoot of the famous Slanted
Door has banh mi, stir-fried beef with vermicelli or rice, and bubble tea. Be prepared
for a really long line.
– Delica: Try this fusion Japanese deli for a totally new take on bento boxes and curry.
You might not recognize anything on the menu, but it’ll taste really good.
– Sushi Kinta: If you absolutely must have sushi during lunch, this is the only halfwaylegit place close by. It’s in the food alley next to the Hyatt.
 Something fried, greasy and totally comforting
– Taylor’s Refresher: All-American burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Totally delicious, and
the line is always insane.
– San Francisco Fish Company: Their fish and chips are absolutely addictive.
Sometimes a long wait to get your order.
– Oasis Grill: Not fried, but equally greasy and comforting. They serve Mediterranean
food – giant shawarmas, gyros, and falafel. A standby favorite of GCG.
 Sit-down lunch
– MarketBar: Upscale Cal Med food; they offer prix-fixe menus that are really good
value. Come here when you can expense it!
– Osha Thai: Yummy food in a casual, trendy atmosphere. Always popular during
lunch, so get here early or risk waiting for a table.
 Sugar & Sweets
– Yogen Fruz: Tart yogurt with fresh fruit toppings. Perfect for an afternoon pickup…
– Ciao Bella Gelato: When you just need sugar. Try hazelnut or guava flavors.
– Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: These are so good… Right downstairs in Four Embarcadero.
Dinner at the Office
Yes, from time to time, you may end up having dinner in the office, but the good news is
you can expense up to $30 of food for dinner. That means you have choices.
North Beach Pizza (415-433-2444)
If you and the case team are looking for something
fast, give this delicious local pizza a try.
Sushi Rock (415-578-5569)
If you’re in the mood for something healthy, this
restaurant has shockingly fast delivery, as well as
great sushi and non-sushi options.
Although most places around Four Embarcadero close by 6pm, the following places
serve dinner and are open late…
Oasis Grill (OPEN UNTIL 9PM)
Just across the street from the office, Oasis Grill never fails. Bonus:
Shawarmas come wrapped in aluminum foil, so you can eat and type at the
same time.
Taylor’s Refresher (OPEN UNTIL 10PM)
Longer wait time and walk due to its location in the Ferry Building, but that
greasy burger is going to taste so good when you finally get it. They also
have wines by the glass, if that’s what you need.
Osha Thai (OPEN UNTIL 11PM)
They can fill your takeout order in just minutes. For an exotic late night drink,
get a whole coconut to go (they’ll wrap the whole thing in plastic and give
you a straw).
Office Traditions
 The San Francisco Office has many social events, most of which occur on Fridays
when everyone is in the office (remember this when you’re procrastinating during the
week and planning to be productive on Friday – it can be very difficult to get work
done). These are great times to get to know your colleagues and catch up with
friends, especially if you’ve been traveling all week. It’s also really easy to get
involved in planning events and/or starting an event of your own. If you build it, they
will come…
 FLS (Friday Lunch Session) – about once a month, the office gathers in the
Dogpatch for a catered lunch and All-About-Me and case work presentations.
 TGIFs – TGIFs range in scale from in-office beer and wine, sometimes with a theme
(e.g. Office Space TGIF), to gathering at a local bar after work. Either way, if you’re
in serious need of some alcohol at the end of the work week, there will usually be an
outlet somewhere.
 Holiday Party – The Holiday party every year is a lavish affair with dinner, drinks and
 Ski Trip – An office-subsidized ski trip usually happens one weekend in the winter. In
past years, houses were rented at Northstar at Tahoe.
 Community Service – The office participates in a variety of community service
initiatives. If you have a cause you care about, new initiatives are always welcome!
 Guaymas! – Every June, the office takes the ferry to Tiburon for an afternoon of
Tequila and Tamales on the patio at this bay front restaurant.
 Office Picnic – We choose a warm Friday afternoon to barbeque and play sports in
Golden Gate Park.
 Giants Game – Every summer we take in an evening game preceded by cocktails
and appetizers at MoMo’s.
 Camping Trip – Our annual camping trip in Yosemite National Park is a great way to
get acquainted with California’s spectacular wild areas.
At Office Events, you never know who’s snapping
pictures, so be on your toes…
Office Picnic
Yosemite Trip
The Unauthorized Guide
III. Living in San Francisco
Gyms & Running
Yes, there is such a thing as the “Consulting 15,” but the good news is that you have
plenty of options of places to work out to burn off all those meals you’re eating out.
San Francisco has a ton of gyms (many right near the office). When choosing a gym,
be mindful that there’s a good chance you’ll be traveling during the week, so that
location far from your apartment, but close to office, might not make sense after all.
 Cost - Marsh & McLennan has discounts at some gyms, though many are not worth it
because you have to take on the most expensive package; be sure to ask regardless
as you may be able to save yourself some money! Club One and 24-Hour Fitness
currently honor MMC discounts. At most of the nicer gyms the basic membership will
set you back $70-80, give or take, depending on the gym. Gyms are always offering
initiation deals, however, so keep your eyes open! Many also offer trial memberships
for free or a nominal cost if you want to try a place out before deciding.
 Options - There are many, but to name a few…
– Running outside – Free!! The Embarcadero runs along the bay and allows you
to run unimpeded from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate.
– Crunch – Several locations throughout the city, including in the Marina, Russian
Hill and downtown.
– Club One – Close to the office.
– 24-Hour Fitness – Many locations throughout the city; tends to be cheaper.
– YMCA – Several locations throughout the city, including downtown, the Presidio
and the Richmond.
– Many more… Ask neighbors, look around your neighborhood. If you want to work
out, you will have your choices!
Dining out in San Francisco
San Francisco has many great restaurants. You will eat well while living here!
Choosing a Restaurant
 Neighborhood
– For most meals you should not travel too far. On the weekdays go to
restaurants that are close to your apartment. On weekends eat close to
where you plan to go out.
– Only the very top restaurants warrant long trips!
 Restaurant
– This guide will not attempt to make extensive restaurant recommendations.
Listen to friends’ recommendations, randomly walk into places in your
neighborhood, or look at Zagat—whose ratings are, for the most part, reliable.
– Talk to Sarah Raymond; she knows the restaurant scene!
– Never go back to a restaurant you didn’t think was good the first time. There
are too many good places in San Francisco to eat at a bad place twice!
 Reservations
– For most of the top restaurants you’ll want a reservation, especially on the
– Use to make reservations. It’s easier than calling!
Eating Out
If you’re looking for the top-rated restaurants in SF, just flip open any restaurant guide and they’ll tell you
which ones have Michelin stars.. But it’s not always easy to find the local favorites. Below are the triedand-true destinations that have been personally tested by GCG…
Michael Mina
Slanted Door
Russian Hill
1550 Hyde
La Folie
Za Pizza
All expensive, classy and
top-rated restaurants!
21st Amendment
Town Hall
Anchor & Hope
Marina / Cow Hollow
Zushi Puzzle
Balboa Café
Blue Barn
Tipsy Pig
Foreign Cinema
Ti Couz
La Taqueria
North Beach
The House
Western Addition
/ Cole Valley
Little Star Pizza
The nightlife in San Francisco has a uniquely laid-back feel, different from Boston and NYC, as you’ll soon
find out. It’s also very diverse – the scene and crowd vary, even among bars in the same neighborhood.
Take your time exploring and find which areas you like best!
Some general tips: Everything closes early around 2 a.m. Places start filling up by 11 p.m., although there’s
almost never a crazy line for anything. SF has an abundance of dive bars and few places charge cover, so
don’t pay unless it’s truly worth it. It’s almost impossible to get a taxi on weekend nights (the city has a
chronic taxi shortage) so budget at least 10-15 minutes for that. A drink or shot will cost you about $10.
One bonus that people rarely realize – for some reason, SF has a unique love affair with outdoor drinking,
possibly because of the awesome weather and general confluence of fun, eccentric citizens. Almost any
occasion can serve as an excuse to take to the streets, wander around, and party in public. Examples: Bay
to Breakers, the annual gay pride parade, random street dances sponsored by the city.
• Hangout spots: Sleek, sexy bars on the smaller side; cozy bars with vintage posters and
handwritten menus; a few dive bars. Most don’t charge cover.
• The crowd: Beautiful people with the attitude to match. Well-paid professionals, lifelong frat boys,
and the well-dressed women who love them. Expect less dancing, more mingling.
• Where to go: Circa (music), The Matrix (atmosphere), Horseshoe, Tipsy Pig, KT, Bar Non
Polk Street
• Hangout spots: Neighborhood bars with a lot of character. Most don’t charge cover.
• The crowd: Young professionals looking for fun in a casual, laid-back atmosphere.
• Where to go: Start at Tonic on Union Street and work your way toward the Civic Center.
North Beach
• Hangout spots: Full-on trendy dance clubs, squeezed into small places. Expect pounding music,
trendy décor, and little breathing room. Most places charge cover ($5-20) which can sometimes be
negotiated depending on the guy-to-girl ratio of your entourage. A ton of small, interesting bars are
hidden in the surrounding streets.
• The crowd: Young professionals, students, out-of-towners. Anyone who wants to get crazy. Lots of
birthday parties and bachelorette parties are hosted here.
• Where to go: (Dance Clubs) Dragon Bar, Apartment 24; (Bars) Dell’Uva, La Trappe, Church Key, Kells
• Hangout spots: Mega dance clubs in large spaces with 2 or more floors. Platforms, stages, and
state of the art sound systems. Lines can be long and most places charge cover ($10-20).
• The crowd: Club kids, cool people, a diverse mix of professional partiers. For some reason, a lot
of Googlers show up here.
• Where to go: 330 Ritch, Temple, Manor West. The legendary Bootie SF is held every 2 weeks at
DNA Lounge and has been known to attract partiers wearing pajamas and/or fuzzy animal ears.
The Mission
• Hangout spots: Dive bars with loud music and unique décor ranging from retro beauty parlor to
classic arcade games. You can find anything here, as long as it’s not hip-hop or Top 40.
• The crowd: Hipsters, perpetual grad students, young professionals aspiring to be hipsters.
Typical outfit: a polka dotted housedress with vintage 1920s hairpiece and pearls; vintage t-shirts
with clever slogans. For those who just want to drink in anonymity, jeans are also acceptable.
• Where to go: Beauty Bar, Elbo Room, Double Dutch, Amnesia
Bay Area Sports Teams
San Francisco Giants:
Your San Francisco Giants play at the beautiful AT&T park, located
on the Embarcadero in South Beach. Giants games are great
fun—be sure to sit in the bleacher seats if you hope to dine on a
cha-cha bowl.
Oakland A’s:
The A’s play across the Bay at Oakland Coliseum, which is just a
short walk from the Coliseum Station BART exit.
San Francisco 49ers:
The legendary football team of Joe Montana and Steve Young
(which has, admittedly, struggled in recent years) can be found at
Candlestick Park.
Oakland Raiders:
If you prefer the AFC, you can also cross the Bay to the Coliseum
to see the Raiders take on the likes of the New England Patriots
and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Golden State Warriors:
Basketball fans can witness the high-powered Warriors’ offense at
Oracle Arena in Oakland.
San Jose Sharks:
If hockey is your sport of choice, be sure to head south to the HP
Pavilion to get a taste of winter in the Bay Area.
Other Events
Bay to Breakers:
Every third Sunday in May, 70,000+ San Franciscans hit the streets
to participate in this highly-entertaining 12K footrace. Colorful
costumes, kegs on wheels, and other oddities abound in this funfilled event.
Fleet Week:
One week every October, the San Francisco office literally quakes
as Navy Blue Angels pilots complete practice runs over the
downtown skyline. Once the weekend arrives, you can walk to the
Embarcadero to watch the full Blue Angels show, or catch a glimpse
of the array of visiting Navy ships. Even if you don’t make it
downtown, you’ll be sure to know its Fleet Week from the packs of
sailors roaming around all major nightlife areas!
Chinese New Year Parade:
Named one of the world’s top ten parades, this celebration is the
largest of its kind outside of Asia. Be sure to come see the spectacular
costumes, floats, and 201-foot human dragon!
The Great San Francisco Pillow Fight:
If you feel the need to work out some casework aggression, grab a
hold of your bulkiest down pillow (no couch cushions or
synthetically-stuffed pillows allowed) and be poised to strike at 6PM
on Valentine’s Day in Justin Herman Plaza. This free-for-all seems
to grow more chaotic with each passing year...
Arts & Culture
 Museums
– San Francisco has many great museums. Be on the lookout for special nights with
different events and free admission!
– San Francisco Museum of Modern Art -
- The Mario Botta-designed building is a work of art in itself. This museum is
especially popular on the first Tuesday of the month, when admission is free.
– De Young Museum –
- A favorite of San Franciscans, the De Young is located in Golden Gate Park and
has a diverse permanent collection ranging from American painting to African art
and often draws great temporary exhibits. Admission here is also free on the
first Tuesday of the month.
– Palace of the Legion of Honor –
- The Beaux Arts building overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge is worth the trip in
itself and looks like it was dropped in directly from Paris.
– Exploratorium –
- A hands-on museum of science, art and human perception located in the Palace
of Fine Arts in the Marina.
– Asian Art Museum –
- One of the largest museums in the western world devoted to Asian art and
culture. Located in the Civic Center, its easy to access via public transportation
and is free on the first Sunday of the month.
De Young Museum
Palace of the Legion
of Honor
Arts & Culture
 High Culture
– The San Francisco Symphony ( plays
at Davies Hall in the Civic Center.
– The San Francisco Opera ( is located
across the street in the War Memorial Opera House.
– The San Francisco Ballet ( was the first
ballet in the United States to premiere the Nutcracker Suite.
 Live Music Events
– Every Sunday evening in the summer, free live music concerts
are presented at Stern Grove.
– In the fall, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass presents a weekend of
free live music in Golden Gate Park.
– Also useful are the email ticket alerts available at
Ticketmaster ( and Live Nation
 Theater & Dance
– The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival offers Free Shakespeare in the Park at
Golden Gate Park in early September. (
– There are many smaller dance companies in The City, including ODC and Lines
 For a general list of events, check out SFWeekly, a free newspaper, as well as
SFStation online (
Day Trips
 While there is plenty to do in San Francisco on the weekends, everyone enjoys
getting out of the city every once in a while. The Bay Area boasts a wide array of day
trip opportunities, from its mountains, beaches and federal and state parks.
 Getting around: While some destinations are accessible by BART and ferry (to Marin),
realistically a car is much more convenient. You can always rent from standard car
rental places (accumulate Hertz points from your cases) and Zip Car is also a
cheaper option if you use the service more than once.
• Ferry Trip: Board a ferry at Fisherman’s Wharf, which
can take you to Alcatraz, or scenic islands like Tiburon
or Sausalito.
• Hiking: Marin offers plenty of fantastic hiking at both
Mount Tam State park and Muir Woods National
Monument. Farther north in Marin, Point Reyes
National Seashore offers breathtaking views and
wildlife sightings.
• Wine Tasting: Head to Napa or Sonoma, which are
just 1-2 hours away by car. You can also hire a car to
drive you around.
• The Beach: Baker and Ocean Beaches are right in the
city and can be reached via Muni. For a true beach
experience, head to Santa Cruz an hour south and
watch the surfers from the boardwalk.
• Skiing: Lake Tahoe has world class ski resorts, and is
just 3-4 hours away by car. Tip: Marsh & McLennan
has membership to the Working Advantage website,
which gets you ski tickets to many mountains in
• See “Summer”: The benefit of year-round awesome
weather is that you can pretty much do anything at
• Head to LA: That said, the winter is also a great time
to visit Southern California, where it’s still 70-80
degrees. The drive is 7-8 hours, but flights are cheap
and take less than an hour. If you drive, you can stop
along the way at scenic seaside towns like Carmel,
San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
Got Everything?
While we hope we covered a lot of the basics, we know you’ll have many more
questions once you start. The important thing to do is just ask. Yes, there are such
things as stupid questions (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), but nobody will
remember them for more than an hour, so you might as well ask.
We leave you with some sagely advice from current GCG at Oliver Wyman:
“Ask ask ask. If you can't figure
something out after 5-10 minutes, ask
someone near you or shoot an email to
someone. Chances are, someone has
the answer and will be glad to help.”
“Consulting years are
like dog years.”
“There are two types of
consultants in this world,
those who love
PowerPoint and liars.”
“Girl/Boy in a bar: What do you do?
You: I model.”
“Eat well, drink well, the
Consulting 15 is inevitable.”
“Learn to use your PowerPoint
toolbar buttons--they will
revolutionize your life.”
"No matter what your case manager
says, you do not have to go 'two-toa-bed' to stay under budget."
“Don't be shy. The people at
this firm are fantastic, and it's
worth getting to know every
one of them.”
“Staffing is your best friend in
this place - be ‘can do’ and low
maintenance (no matter how
many times you end up
working in Timbuktu). ”
"If you go on long haul, be sure
to leave a lot of your crap in and
around your cube so they don't
give away your desk while
you're gone."