<p>I am an international student trying for masters in economics and will follow it up with a PhD.</p>
-Undergraduate : computer engineering with poor grades, that includes maths.
-Work Ex : 5 years as a Business Intelligence consultant with higly valued certifications in Project Management.
-Distance MBA course with finance major. 'A' grade althrough with an 'A+' in quant courses.
-Managed a LOR from a quant prof in my MBA institute.
-GRE quant score: 780. This is an old score. I will be trying again, hopefully 800 this time.</p>
<p>I am currently trying for 2nd or 3rd tier universities for my masters and hope to try for a top research program after a well done masters. My plan of playing safe is working too. Got positive responses from a few universities, South Dakota State univ, Gordon Ford B school in Western Kentucky Univ.</p>
<p>But considering the competition for PhD, my preference for a low masters debt and taking into account my poor grades in undergraduate, should I try for elite institutes including the Ivy league basket for masters?</p>
<li>Does my profile stand a chance for masters in such heavyweight schools? </li>
<li>Does conveying an interest in the research going on in such elite schools in my SOP and essays blur away my shady academics?</li>
<li>My guess, in my case, it'll come down to how much my work ex counts for. My employer is one of biggest firms in IT. Will LORs from my current bosses help?</li>