Profile:
Type of Undergrad
: BSc economics from a top UK University (Ox/Cam/LSE/Imp). But graduated 8 years ago.
Undergrad GPA: 1st honours. Got firsts in all courses except 1 or 2
Graduate GPA: About to start MSc Finance & Econ from a top European programme
GRE: Haven't taken it yet
Math Courses: Real analysis, differential equations, multivariable calc, intro to abstract math. All 1sts (but 8-10 years ago)
Undergrad econ couses: Micro, macro, applied econometrics, and public. All firsts except applied metrics
Grad econ courses: to come: Micro, financial economics, financial econometrics, possibly macro, 2 electives
Letters of Recommendation: I'll need to get some good ones from the MSc because I'm sure no one from undegrad remembers me. Can throw in one or two from work for good measure even if not that relevant
Research Experience: Will be doing some RA work for one of the professors during the MSc. Otherwise nothing applicable so far. A few non-technical company publications, but irrelevant.
Research interests: Empirical corp finance (particularly banking/credit), banking theory
Teaching Experience: 1 year of TAing a class in undergrad in 2010
Work Experience: 7-8 years in management consulting for the financial services sector at a fairly prestigious firm

Context and questions:
Hi everyone, I'd be interested in your views of what odds my profile has of getting into a good programme. I graduated in 2011 and went to work in management consulting. One thing led to another and now it's 8 years later and I'm 30 and I still have a feeling like what I really want to do is research and teach. So I'm going back to do a MSc to see if I'm really serious about this, and then would like to apply for a PhD if I still feel the same way.

My job has not been technical, but has been focused on banking regs and strategy, so potentially gets me some useful insights. I'm starting an MSc in Finance and Econ from a top European programme in 2 months.

My questions are:
- Assuming I do well in the masters, what are my odds of getting into a top ~20 finance programme? If it's quite unrealistic, I suppose I can give up and go back to the old sort of thing I did
- Is there any point applying this cycle before the degree is done? I sort of feel like I'm already pretty old to spend another year RAing, but I guess it's needed.

[Cross-posted to PhD business forum - let me know if this is the wrong place and I can delete]